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Life Arts

Rock and Wrap It Up's Creative Approach to Hunger

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Rock and Wrap It Up! Mastermind, Syd Mandelbaum
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My guest today is Rock and Wrap It Up's CEO and founder, Syd Mandelbaum. Welcome back to OpEdNews, Syd.


JB: We've talked several times over the last few years. You always have lots going on. What's new since we last touched base in April of 2011?


SM: The Bad News

Sadly, there has never been more need for our think tank and others who share the common goal of reducing poverty. The economy continues to grow for the few, leaving the rest of the country with high unemployment and dimmer prospects for long term higher income jobs. The 2010 census asked about families and poverty; 1 in 3 Americans felt that they were near poverty. We see so many more families with young children and senior citizens depleting the shelves of pantries. Superstorm Sandy caused increased strain on the NE. The 2008 economic downturn still continues to cause casualties. The stock market's return is a false  barometer for our country's overall health.


The Good News

Rock and Wrap It Up! has become an award winning think tank; we were recognized by the EPA with two Environmental Awards. Our mantra: reducing the world's poverty footprint by reducing society's carbon footprint is being repeated across our planet.

     We continue to grow in our sectors. We now have 73 sport franchises and colleges practicing the Sports Wrap! program. Food from their arenas and stadiums now goes to the local indigent in their catchment areas. The entire NHL works with us in  North America. This year, the National Football League is working with us to recover all of the food generated surrounding and leading up to Super Bowl XXXXVIII, in both New Jersey and New York, and will be recovered through Rock and Wrap it Up!

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Cleveland Indians' Nick Swisher thanks Yankee Stadium volunteers
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     We work with vetted anti-poverty agencies who report to us and our donor base through formula embedded spreadsheets. We now offer all of our donors statistics which include pounds of food donated converted into total meals and Greenhouse Gas emission reduction numbers. Our sports partners send tweets and place in their social media outlets these environmentally important and socially-responsible facts. The NFL will include these in their Superbowl material.

     We have now worked with over 60 TV and film productions since starting It's a Wrap! in 2010, recovering over 100,000 pounds of food from studios and locations throughout the United States. NBC Universal, Sony Pictures, Paramount and Warner Brothers have joined our efforts to feed local communities with healthy "movie star" quality fare. This sector continues to grow as more productions hire Sustainability Coordinators to oversee all ecological-impacting parts of film production.


setting up RWU freezer on set of Boardwalk Empire
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     We continue to grow in our relation with the USDA and the EPA. We were asked to speak at the USDA and EPA joint launch in Washington DC of the Food Recovery Challenge in June 2013. This Federal effort encourages reduction, reuse and recycling of food.

The Present

     Hospital Wrap! was piloted in July 2013 at Yale New Haven Hospital. The recovery of healthy hospital food generated  over 1,000 meals each month to feed the hungry of New Haven. The success of this program will encourage both Bridgeport and Greenwich Hospitals to begin programs. EPA Region 1 is including our Hospital Wrap! case study in their monthly mailings, throughout New England in December. It has been made available on our website

http://rockandwrapitup.org/attachments/article/206/Hospital_Wrap_Position_Paper.pdf

     We have had a difficult time fund-raising and continue to operate with a skeleton staff and many volunteers. Donations can be made on our website through Paypal.

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Joan Brunwasser is a co-founder of Citizens for Election Reform (CER) which since 2005 existed for the sole purpose of raising the public awareness of the critical need for election reform. Our goal: to restore fair, accurate, transparent, secure elections where votes are cast in private and counted in public. Because the problems with electronic (computerized) voting systems include a lack of (more...)
 

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