Category Archives: Other

Free Showing of the Film Food Stamped: A Benefit for the Weld Food Bank

Event Calls on the Community to Support Healthy Food and Family Farms in Weld County

Food & Water Watch, in partnership with Deb Newsom of D & H Farms and The Unitarian Universalist Church of Greeley, are hosting a free showing of the film Food Stamped – a documentary about a couple attempting to eat healthy on a food stamp budget.  This event is a fund raiser for the Weld Food Bank and part of the Fair Farm Bill Road Trip – a month of activities across 20 states to educate consumers about how the federal Farm Bill impacts us all.

From low-income families who need food stamps to survive, to midsized family farmers struggling to stay in business, to shoppers who deserve healthier food choices, everyone has the right to safe, healthy, affordable food that supports independent farmers and producers, but to restore this balance, “voting with our forks” is not enough. We need a fair Farm Bill.

Who: Food & Water Watch, Deb Newsom of D & H Farms, and The Unitarian Universalist Church of Greeley are hosting the event.

What: Free Showing of the Film Food Stamped. This is a fund raiser for the Weld Food Bank. Food donations requested, but not required. More information about the film can be found here:

Where:  Unitarian Universalist Church of Greeley   929 15th Street  Greeley, CO  80631

When: Friday, August 26 from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Interviews available: A representative from Food & Water Watch will answer questions about the Farm Bill. Deb Newsom of D and H Farms will discuss her CSA.  Jessica Barczewski from the Weld Food Bank will tell us about food insecurity and the importance of small local farms to the Food Bank.  A recipient of food stamps, will speak about her personal experience. Charlotte Hardgrave past co-president of Greeley Interfaith will talk briefly about how preserving food can play a role in helping small local farms stay in business and share resources on how to preserve your own food.

Background: The Farm Bill determines how food reaches our plates: how it’s grown, processed and distributed and who has access to safe, healthy, affordable food. Congress works on the Farm Bill every 5 years and the bill presents a crucial opportunity to create a fairer, safer and more sustainable food system. The 2008 Farm Bill made some progress towards this vision, but lots of these programs and policies must be defended in 2012 when the next Farm Bill is debated. And more must be done to level the playing field for small and medium-sized farmers, increase access to healthy food, and create fair markets for local farmers. For more information about the Farm Bill, visit

In 2008, 17 million households, 14.6 percent of households (approximately one in seven), were food insecure, the highest number ever recorded in the United States. The Food Stamp Program, the nation’s most important anti-hunger program, helps roughly 40 million low-income Americans to afford a nutritionally adequate diet. More than 75 percent of all food stamp participants are in families with children; nearly one-third of participants are elderly people or people with disabilities.

For more information contact:  Hollis Berendt 970-590-3289 or HollisSellsHomes@comcast.

Food & Water Watch works to ensure the food, water and fish we consume is safe, accessible and sustainable. So we can all enjoy and trust in what we eat and drink, we help people take charge of where their food comes from, keep clean, affordable, public tap water flowing freely to our homes, protect the environmental quality of oceans, force government to do its job protecting citizens, and educate about the importance of keeping shared resources under public control.


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Main Street Alliance

I recently returned from Washington, D.C. as one of three Main Street Alliance small business owners from Colorado who joined small business owners from 17 other states to communicate our values, policy priorities, and concerns directly with our Members of Congress. Colorado Main Street Alliance is a coalition of over 400 small business owners throughout the state, more than 60 of them hhere=  ere in Greeley.   Colorado Main Street Alliance is the small business arm of Colorado Progressive Coalition, working to amplify real small business voices about issues that many of us care about, and make an impact on the policy decisions of our leaders.    Those of us from Colorado met in-person with Senator Michael Bennet, Representatives Betsy Markey and John Salazar, and 3 Legislative Assistants for Senator Mark Udall.   To learn more about our concerns and values, click here.

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Health Care for All

Dr. and Governor, Howard Dean

I recently had the honor of introducing Dr. Howard Dean at a health care forum in Denver at First Unitarian Church in Denver.  I told the true story of a health care crisis in my family.  Here is my story and introduction of Dr. Dean.

Our daughter, Abby, graduated from Colorado State University in 2004, then moved to New York City to work for a very large corporation in the entertainment industry.  A benefit of the job was health insurance; however, they wouldn’t provide coverage until the employee had worked for the company for one year.  Abby tried to get a short term health policy, but was told that because of 9-11, a reasonably priced insurance policy was impossible to find, since New York City was high risk for another attack. 

 Abby went without an insurance policy, hoping to remain healthy.  At ten months of employment, she became very ill, and in great pain, took the subway to the emergency room.  She was diagnosed with an ovarian tumor that would require surgery.  Because this was the beginning of her career, she had no collateral and a very low credit card limit.  There was no way she could pay for the surgery and other expenses (doctors appointments, lab tests, radiology, and other relevant exams) associated with her illness.   My husband and I were fortunate to have equity in our home and were able to take a loan against it, to pay for her expenses. 

 This experience brought to light, all too clearly, how close we all are to losing everything due to a health issue.  Our forefathers wrote in the Declaration of Independence that we “are endowed by their (our) Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”

In the United States, it is unconscionable that its citizens are under undue stress, worried about what would happen if a loved one were to become seriously ill, or their life in jeopardy.  Health care must be a right, not a privilege.

If we are serious about guaranteeing everyone in this country access to quality affordable health care we’ve got to have e a choice of a public option.  It is encouraging that a national figure like Dr Howard Dean is playing a leadership role in health care reform. 

Before entering politics, Governor Howard Dean received his medical degree in 1978 and practiced internal medicine in Vermont.  He served as governor of Vermont from 1991-2003.  He gained national prominence as a US presidential candidate in 2004.   Most recently he led the Democratic Party to success as Chairman of Democratic   the national Committee from 2005-2009 by employing the 50 state strategy. 

He has returned to Democracy for America the organization that he founded after his presidential campaign. His currently focuses on energy issues and health care.

We are excited to have Dr. Dean here today to tell us how we can be successful in a  achieving healthcare reform that allows individuals and businesses to choose between a public health insurance plan or a private one.  Please welcome Dr. Dean.

Below are links to the press coverage of the event.

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