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Success Stories: Waste Reduction, Recycling, & Feeding Children During A Pandemic

Solid Waste Management

The St. Louis – Jefferson Solid Waste Management District is a regional agency that was created in 1993 to assist the public, private and nonprofit sectors in establishing and expanding programs for recycling and waste reduction. The service area includes the City of St. Louis, St. Louis County, Jefferson County and St. Charles County. Funding for this program is provided by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. For more information visit www.swmd.net or call 314-645-6753.

Operation Food Search’s Emergency Response

When the COVID-19 crisis began, and schools closed at the end of March, Operation Food Search (OFS) went into “Emergency Response” mode. Tens of thousands of area children were suddenly without access to school meals, just as businesses closed and families faced financial hardship. Fortunately, as an independent hunger relief organization, OFS was well-positioned to respond to the increase in need. Their policy team navigated changing government regulations that allow free meals to be distributed, while their department of Child and Family Nutrition worked with school districts and community organizations to coordinate a strategy to get meals to kids. The OFS digital team created an interactive map of the more than 600 available distribution sites, which included bus routes, as well as libraries and other community sites. The team also created resources for families to help them find assistance through SNAP (food stamps), stimulus checks and unemployment insurance. They even had the resources translated into six languages.

With food donations down—due to the cancellation of events that OFS relied on to stock their warehouse—the organization had to find new solutions. OFS and their local grocery store partners, food distributors, restaurants, and local farmers significantly increased efforts to rescue fresh food that would otherwise be wasted. More than $10 million in food was diverted from landfills between April and September.

“The silver lining of this crisis has been the way the community has responded to get help to those in need,” says Operation Food Search Communications Manager Jocelyn Fundoukos. “From front porch food drives to financial donations from students wanting to make sure other kids were fed, we’ve seen incredible generosity during this difficult time.” Fundoukos reports that, on top of OFS’s regular distribution effort, which helps 200,000 people per month, OFS has provided an additional one million meals in the bi-state region over the last six months.

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Publisher’s Corner

JB Lester

Give Thanks, Mask Up, Save Lives

November is a time of transition. We shift our seasons and by the time most of you read this, we will have shifted some of the power in our country, too. Most elections, like seasons, are about change. And for some, change couldn’t come soon enough. For others change is frightening and unnerving. But like someone once said, you can always count on change. So whomever our president is for the next four years, let’s try to find a way to heal. As Abraham Lincoln said, “A house divided against itself, cannot stand.” Every election seems to divide us. Then most of us find a way to stay civil and agree to disagree. For others, it is a time to act out. Peaceful protest is part of our country’s legacy, but violent protest is nothing but criminal behavior. So let’s accept the choice of the people for now and find a way to coexist and be thankful that we live in a country that allows free and open elections. Voting is both a right and a privilege. Elections have consequences, so if you are reading this before November 3, make sure you vote.

November is also the beginning of the cold and flu season, and coupled with the current Covid-19 pandemic, we are headed for troubled waters. I am amazed at how political wearing a face mask has become. But I am also encouraged by how many more people are showing their patriotism by covering their mouth and nose in order to protect those around them. Doctors and scientists agree, that wearing a face mask can greatly decrease the amount of people who will catch this horrible virus. If 85% of us wear a mask, 95,000 lives can be saved going forward.

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Cornavirus Perspective: Wearing A Mask Makes Me Caring & Responsible


Dr. Amy Davis

By Dr. Amy Davis, MD

Coronavirus continues to spread.  More than 225,000 Americans have died.  Moving into Winter cases are expected to rise and be compounded by the onset of Influenza season which also can overwhelm hospitals.  

There are a few well known simple things that we can and should all do to control the spread of COVID-19 and go about our lives while protecting ourselves and others. 

  • Wear a mask 
  • Wash your hands
  • Social distance and avoid large gatherings
  • Stay home when you are sick

There continues to be resistance to mask wearing which is counterproductive to slowing the spread and unduly places others at risk.  I recently ran across a social media post that I think sums it up very well.  While these are not my words, I think that the sentiment is spot on.  

“I have been wearing a mask in my office and in stores (and limiting my trips) since March when this whole thing went down.  I’m not sure how being considerate to others for the common good, is now being mocked by some who are calling it “living in fear”, but it needs to stop!! When I wear a mask over my nose and mouth in public and in the stores/ Supermarkets/ Pharmacies/Offices — I want you to know the following:

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Healthy Planet Natural Living Holiday & Gift Guide

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Guide to Green Dining in the St. Louis Area

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The Art of Relating


Christine Kniffen

Is Resistance Ruining Your Relationship?

By Christine Kniffen, MSW, LCSW
www.ChristineKniffen.com  
Your Personal Relationship Coach is just a click away…

Fixing your relationship does take work, but just how much work and how much energy has everything to do with you. Resistance is the greatest hurdle to overcome. Resistance slows the process as a whole and it is why you have probably come to couples counseling in the first place. The resistance I speak of has everything to do with one’s seeming inability to accept, and eventually understand, how their words and behaviors affect their partner. The absence of this crucial factor, essential for creating an environment where intimacy and connectedness can thrive, is the primary issue for all couples having communication difficulties. Most people are not intentionally trying to be resistant. 

There are a couple of prominent things to consider when attempting to stop resistance in your relationship. These include understanding why it happens, learning how to talk to someone who is resistant and finally beginning to understand the tremendous healing power of riding the relationship of resistance.

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