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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If you, like me, care about having the option to create city or county ordinances and regulations that make sense for us locally, you may be interested in reading my letter to the editor in The Miami Herald about the State legislature’s attempt to minimize the voices of Miami-Dade residents and of its elected leaders.

We know Miami Beach is expensive and needs to set a minimum wage that makes sense for Miami Beach, not one that makes sense for lawmakers in Tallahassee. 

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