Saturday, January 28, 2023


A critical number of rural IA nursing homes close; TX lawmakers consider measures to restrict, and expand voting in 2023 Session; and CT groups, and unions call for public-health reforms.


Attorney General announces enforcement actions on ransomware, Democrats discuss border policies, and the FDA is relaxing rules for gay and bisexual men to donate blood.


"Brain Gain?" Research shows rural population is actually growing, especially in recreational areas; other small towns are having success offering relocation incentives like free building lots, cash, complimentary dinners and even internet credits; and researchers say the key is flexibility and creativity.

Desert Southwest Shows Resilience in Feeding Families Amid COVID-19


Thursday, April 28, 2022   

When a nonprofit food center in the desert Southwest began a project to chronicle challenges of land and water access combined with climate change, they didn't know COVID-19 was on the way - which demonstrated unexpected resiliency.

The pandemic turned La Semilla Food Center's storytelling project into a virtual event, but it was nonetheless a place for participants to share their experiences.

Storyteller Mateo Herrera is a chef and the director of a community-based program to preserve the indigenous foodways of the Chihuahuan Desert. He said he wanted to shine a light on local food producers who have fed their neighbors for generations.

"For me it was like our local farmers showing up and being, like, 'We're here - and, you know, we're here to take care of you and we're here to do our best,'" said Herrera. "They're the heroes. We wouldn't have this food if it wasn't for them."

The storytelling project included local farmers, backyard gardeners, food producers, chefs, restaurant workers, teachers and artists from Las Cruces to El Paso, including the small and rural towns in between.

Rubí Orozco Santos is the director of storytelling and development for La Semilla Food Center.

She said it helped document how policymakers could create more robust food systems by listening to food growers, who despite drought or low-income levels provided those in need with produce and eggs.

"They redirected produce to families or to food pantries," said Orozco. "And so there was a nimbleness there that was really a stark contrast to the disruption in the food-supply chain at the grocery store."

Herrera said although farmers lost sales to restaurants and school districts due to pandemic closures, there were "silver lining" moments that allowed many to reconnect with the land and each other.

"And the beautiful thing about it was, during that time of year the farmers out here and the farms out here were thriving and there was food," said Herrera. "If you knew where to find it, there was plenty of food available."

The final report is titled: "Snapshots of Resilience: Tending Land, Sharing Traditions, and Feeding Our Families Before and Amidst COVID-19 Disruptions."

get more stories like this via email
New data show in California, 2021-22 state testing scores are even lower than the state's historically low testing scores. (Rawpixel/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Many of California's 13.5 million children and teens have not bounced back after the pandemic, especially children of color, according to the just-…

Social Issues

Americans continue to report low trust in mainstream media, with many younger than 30 saying they trust information from social media nearly as much …

Social Issues

A Minnesota House committee heard testimony Thursday about the governor's proposed spending plan for education. As these talks unfold, public polling …

In a national survey, Michigan was ranked 27th among the 50 states for its cost, access and quality of long-term care supports and services. California was ranked first. (Flickr)

Social Issues

In her fifth State of the State address this week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer emphasized policies designed to put more money in Michiganders' pockets…

Social Issues

By nearly every measure, voter fraud in U.S. elections is rare, but that isn't stopping the Texas Legislature from considering dozens of bills this …

In 2020, 83% of Arkansans reported being registered to vote. That's lower than the national average of just over 87%, according to the MIT Elections Performance Index. (Andrey Popov/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

A Republican-sponsored bill in the Arkansas Legislature would make it illegal to circulate petitions at or near polling places during elections…


New Mexico residents have two weeks to submit written comments to the Environmental Protection Agency about its proposal to implement stronger standar…

Social Issues

As National News Literacy Week comes to an end, one Nevada journalism professor says media professionals need to make building trust with their …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021