Tag Archives: Economic Justice
Students receiving school lunch

Ensuring Access to School Lunch in Minnesota

At the beginning of this year, a school in Utah made headlines after throwing away students’ meals because they had a deficit in their school lunch accounts. Unfortunately, this problem is not unique to Utah and occurs nationwide. But in one state, Jewish advocates are making a big push to do something about it. Read more…

President Obama with young child on his lap, sitting in elementary school classroom

Obama’s Big Budget

Earlier this month, President Obama released his budget for fiscal year 2015, which proposes new programs, withdraws some past proposals and reduces the deficit. We applaud the President, as the budget reflects the commandment in Proverbs 31:9 to, “speak up, judge righteously, champion the poor and the needy.” Read more…

Choices at the grocery store and beyond

This was originally posted by Temple Jeremiah of Northfield, IL on March 6, 2014. Members of Temple Jeremiah participated in the SNAP challenge, living on a food stamp budget for a week–$31.50 for the week, around $5 a day. Below, Barb Miller, Temple Jeremiah Social Action Vice President, discusses the challenges and choices that come with living on a SNAP budget. You can read more about the SNAP challenge on Temple Jeremiah’s blog and check out the RAC’s response to SNAP cuts in the Farm Bill.

I was at Sam’s Club today buying a gigantic bag of toilet paper and 10 packages of paper napkins. While waiting in line to check out, I overheard and saw a family having a heated discussion. The teenage boy was asking to keep the cookies and said if we take out the milk, it would pay for the cookies and the chips. The father tried to figure out a way to keep the milk and the cookies by taking out the soap and shaving cream. Read more…

Tina and her children

Double Booked: “When Women Succeed, America Succeeds”

By Tina Tchen

On January 28th, during the State of the Union Address, the President uttered the simple words “When women succeed, America succeeds,” and I smiled.  As Assistant to the President, Chief of Staff to the First Lady, and Executive Director of the White House Council on Women and Girls, I am proud of all the work we have done on behalf of the women, girls, and families across the country, and I am determined to continue to push these issues forward.  As a single, working mother, I know I am not alone when I say that I am proud to be represented by a President, who understands the struggles that women and families are facing each and every day.

Working at the White House is an honor I never could have dreamed of having.  I was born in Columbus, Ohio, and my parents arrived in the United States in 1949, leaving their parents and many of their family members behind in China.  My sister and I were raised in Cleveland, Ohio, where my dad was a physician and my mom, who was trained as a chemist, stayed home to raise my sister and me.  My parents always told my sister and I that we could do anything we wanted to with our lives, but I never anticipated walking through the iron gates of the White House every day.

Read more…

author and family

Double Booked: Queering the Wage Gap

By Charlie Rose

A version of this piece originally appeared at MomsRising on June 18th, 2013.

It has been over 50 years since John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act, but we are still fighting for equal pay for equal work for all. Right now the wage gap is kind of like the faces on US money… only white men earn full dollars. Everyone else is left with pocket change.

Not A Fan of Unfair Pay

The graphic above shows the average wage gap for all women (77 cents) and the averages for Black and Latino men (76 cents & 61 cents) and women (64 cents & 55 cents). When you add children to the mix, the numbers for women get worse. Mothers of any race, on average, earn less than their non-parenting peers. Single mothers, on average earn 60 cents on the dollar, that’s 17 cents less than the average for all women.

Read more…

Saturday is International Women’s Day

This post originally appeared at WRJblog.

This Shabbat, as we slow down, disconnect and enjoy the day of rest with family and friends, we also have the opportunity to spend some time to reflect on the status of women at home and abroad.

International Women’s Day (IWD) has been celebrated on March 8th for nearly 40 years. This date, designated by the United Nations, falls during Women’s History Month; taken together, these dates remind us to pause and take stock.

Read more…

Reform Jewish Teens Take Albany by Storm

Originally posted by Reform Jewish Voice of New York State.

“We understand that hunger is a huge issue that cannot be fixed easily. It is a multi-faceted problem and millions of Americans across the country struggle with every day. That is why we want to start small, and advocate for immediate change in New York.”—A NFTY-NAR teen advocating for anti-hunger programs.

Not enough people take the time to engage in the political process—but on Tuesday, the halls of the Legislative Office Building in Albany were teeming with students, parents, union members, lobbyists and over 40 teens from NFTY-NAR.

Tuesday is typically the busiest day of the week down at the State Capitol, but this day happened to be particularly eventful with two massive movements of education advocates converging to rally around charter schools and universal pre-k.

As part of Albany Advocacy Day, the NFTY-NAR teens were right in the middle of the action. After an intensive (and fun!) day of programming over the weekend on four crucial policy issues facing New York, a conversation with NYC Councilman Brad Lander (who is himself a former NFTY North American Social Action Vice President!) and a few hours of hard work writing lobby speeches, the teens entered the Capitol ready to meet with their legislators. Check out photos from the day here (more to come!). Read more…

Michelle Obama speaking at a podium with "Let's Move" written on it

School Meals Programs Expanding

Last week, the USDA and First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative announced the expansion of the free school meals program to millions of children. The school lunch and breakfast programs are crucial anti-hunger programs and this announcement is an important step towards ending hunger for millions of children.

Many more students will be receiving free school lunches because of the nationwide roll out of community eligibility for school lunch and breakfast. This program allows a school with over 40% of students receiving free school meals to serve free meals to every student in the school. The program reduces paperwork for schools and families, and reduces the stigma around eating free school lunch and breakfast. While we do not know exactly how many new students will be receiving free meals, we do know that it will affect 22,000 schools that together feed over 9 million children.

This program is a positive step towards ending hunger in America, but vulnerable families are still going to see SNAP benefit cuts as part of the Farm Bill passed by Congress last month. Please call on your Member of Congress to increase federal anti-hunger benefits.