Meeting with Mom's Demand Action to reduce gun violence

It may sound a bit odd to sit around drinking lattes and talking about guns, but it’s actually extremely comforting. Chatting about violence, suicide, and death is never pleasant so why not wrap your hands around a good cup of coffee? It did seem to make it easier for a circle of women to open up about our worries about guns in south Florida as victims, advocates, and human beings. This was my first Mom’s Demand Action meeting.

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Because 1.7 million kids live in homes with guns that are loaded and unlocked.

In any other country, there would be no need to implement a training program for parents about gun safety.  But, this is the United States of America where guns are everywhere whether we want them to be or not. That means kids are around them. The Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense group is rolling out their BE SMART training program.

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Many of you can attest to the fact that I returned from my visit to Cornell University’s PCCW Feeding the World Sustainably conference fired up to understand more about how many people are food insecure. I decided to start right here in my own Floridian backyard.

It was when I met Paco Velez, CEO of Feeding South Florida that I learned just why their warehouse was stacked floor to ceiling with banana boxes. Bananas are the #1 selling item in grocery stores, which means there are lots of empty banana boxes donated to food banks to reuse.

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Diana Aviv fed 46 million people last year. I nearly fell over to hear that almost 15% of our population is food insecure. This is the United States! We are the richest country in the world, but it’s true. We are a country filled with people who cannot reliably feed themselves nor their children.

Diana is the CEO of Feeding America and her organization keeps food on the shelves in 60,000 food pantries across the U.S. To put that in perspective, I looked up the number of CVS pharmacies: 9,600. What about the number of McDonald’s? They seem to be everywhere, but there are only 14,100 or so. Hunger is everywhere, in every state, in every county, in every congressional district.

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