Fight Poverty This Passover with The Workmen’s Circle

This Passover season, the folks over at The Workmen’s Circle are honoring the holiday by fighting to end a modern day plague: working poverty.

The United States is home to 10 million people who fall into the category of working poor – folks who have jobs but who’s wages are so low, they cannot afford their basic needs. These families and individuals often have to choose between paying rent or going to the doctor, or buying groceries or paying their electric bill. No hard working person should have to make those choices.

Historically, The Workmen’s Circle has been at the forefront of the Jewish labor movement and a champion of workers’ rights. Now, they are fighting back against poverty by joining the Fight for $15 – a nationwide movement aimed at raising the minimum wage to at least $15.

On Wednesday, April 15, join them in a National Day of Action to help raise awareness about the struggles low wage workers face every day. They will meet at Columbus Circle in New York City and march together to Times Square. To find out more, check back to their Facebook page for more details.

Repair Inspiration: NY Times Rocks Women’s History Month

You know that thing where you wish something existed, and then you find out that it does? That’s how I felt upon discovering the New York Times’ treasure trove of stories, stats, and resources about women for Women’s History Month.

The page links to videos (like this one about the inimitable Malala Yousafzai), and historical articles dating back to 1915 (yep, 100 years ago!) featuring NY Times coverage of stories like women getting the right to vote (1919), Amelia Earhart’s historic flight (1928) and the naming of Sandra Day O’Connor as the first female Supreme Court Justice (1981). It also links to current articles, crossword puzzles, and lesson plans for teachers who want to use the material in their classrooms.

So basically, they harnessed the entirety of the New York Times’ archival and educational power and used it to lift up women’s stories and influence. Yeah. That’s pretty much just as cool as it sounds.

We are halfway through Women’s History Month, which gives you plenty of time to use and share this incredible resource. Let us know what you discover by tweeting us at @repairtheworld #womenshistorymonth.

Repair Inspiration: Just Say No to Food Waste

When it comes to food in America, two things are clear: we love it and we love to waste it. Each year, American families waste an average of 25% of the food that they buy. That includes the carrot tops, bread ends, and other scraps not used while cooking, and the leftovers that go bad in the fridge before they get eaten. And this number does not even account for the tens of thousands of pounds of food thrown away each year by restaurants and other food service companies.

Now, two very different entities – a chef and a city government – are trying to change that. In Seattle, a new composting law slaps households that do not adequately compost their leftover food with a fine and red tag on their garbage cans. Meanwhile, in New York City, the innovative chef, Dan Barber, (of Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns), is working on a high profile, temporary pop up restaurant where every dish will be made from leftovers – stems, peels, bones, and the like. The clever name for the pop up? WastED.

The New York Times reported about both of these compelling stories. Check out the excerpts below and read the whole articles at their website.

Starve a Landfill
By: Kim Severson

“SEATTLE — The nation’s first citywide composting program based largely on shame began here in January. City sanitation workers who find garbage cans filled with aging lettuce, leftover pizza or even the box it came in are slapping on bright red tags to inform the offending household (and, presumably, the whole neighborhood) that the city’s new composting law has been violated.

San Francisco may have been the first city to make its citizens compost food, but Seattle is the first to punish people with a fine if they don’t. In a country that loses about 31 percent of its food to waste, policies like Seattle’s are driven by environmental, social and economic pressure.

But mandated composting reflects a deeper shift in the mood of the nation’s cooks, one in which wasting food is unfashionable. Running an efficient kitchen — where bruised fruit is blended into smoothies, carrot tops are pulsed into pesto, and a juicy pork shoulder can move seamlessly from Sunday supper to Monday’s carnitas to a rich pot of broth for the freezer — is becoming as satisfying as the food itself.” Read more.

Chef Lineup Announced for Dan Barber’s Food Waste Pop-Up, Wasted
By: Florence Fabricant

“A high-profile experiment in wasting nothing will start on March 13 at Dan Barber’s Blue Hill restaurant in Greenwich Village. That’s when the restaurant will turn into a pop-up called wastED, to run through the end of the month, with a menu of dishes devised from leftovers like stems, peelings, rinds and bones, by a roster of guest chefs who will change each evening.” Read more.