Community garden provides refugees with support and comfort through pandemic

A community garden in Seattle, Washington is providing a place for immigrants and refugees to come together and find community while growing food from their home countries.

Once a neglected parking lot, the garden, known as Paradise Parking Plots, is now a place for people to gather and tend to their plants.

Community members bond while growing their own food in the garden. (Hannah Letinich)
Community members bond while growing their own food in the garden. (Hannah Letinich)

“We have de-paved over 50,000 square feet of asphalt and put in garden beds,” said Tahmina Martelly, a program manager for World Relief Seattle, which founded the garden. “We have 44 in-ground beds and six handicap access beds. We have people from 23 countries growing culturally appropriate foods and making friends with each other.”

Martelly, who immigrated to the United States from Bangladesh and has worked in refugee resettlement for more than two decades, said that the space has only become more important amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Signs show the different regions that plants and their growers come from. (Adam Kaufman)
Signs show the different regions that plants and their growers come from. (Adam Kaufman)

“We see gardeners in this garden who are coming in the middle of a pandemic and growing their food,” Martelly said. “Often, I’ll have gardeners tell me, ‘My plants don’t know there’s a pandemic. We expect to have food, because we put the work in.’ Having the power to grow your own food, a virus can’t take that away.”

Gardeners include Prem Adhikari, a Bhutanese refugee who grows mustard greens and long sod beans and has been working in the garden for over three years.

“It’s very difficult to go to market and buy the vegetable … (but) we have a garden, like a life to meet other people,” Adhikari said. “… It’s a lot of fresh, green, without chemical vegetables.”

Immigrants and refugees grow foods from their home countries that might be unavailable in the United States. (Hannah Letinich)
Immigrants and refugees grow foods from their home countries that might be unavailable in the United States. (Hannah Letinich)

In recent years, the garden’s mission has grown. Martelly said the organization now offers a summer academy where children learn about science in the garden. Even amid the pandemic, children have been able to get outside and learn about the world around them. Those classes are taught by interns like Risa Suho, who immigrated from the Philippines in 2008.

“As an immigrant, it’s super important, especially for these younger children, to see someone who kind of looks like them and can relate to their experience,” said Suho, who primarily teachers kindergarten and first grade-age students. “… Not to make my head sound super big, but I think it’s slightly inspirational if kids look up to teachers. They are leaders to kids. I couldn’t imagine what it would be like for me if I was younger, if I saw someone who was like me in a leadership position.”

Children learn at a community summer camp in Paradise Parking Plots. (Hannah Letinich)
Children learn at a community summer camp in Paradise Parking Plots. (Hannah Letinich)

Martelly said that the garden is a place for immigrants to form friendships and other close connections.

“Many of these countries are in conflict with each other, and people will say, ‘Our

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White House, Democrats Both Support Coronavirus Stimulus Checks, Kudlow Expects Republicans To Fall In Line


  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said stimulus talks appear to be at a standstill
  • Larry Kudlow says talks are not dead 
  • Kudlow insisted the U.S. is in a V-shaped recovery but certain sectors still need help

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow says he expects Republicans to fall in line if the White House reaches agreement with Democrats on the next round of coronavirus stimulus relief.

Negotiations appeared at a standstill after President Donald Trump agreed to boost the size of the package to $1.8 trillion – a move rejected by Democrats who called it inadequate and Republicans who said it was too expensive.

Kudlow told CNN’s “State of the Union” he talked with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin Saturday night and is convinced stimulus talks are not dead, noting Senate Republicans unanimously passed their own version of coronavirus relief – albeit a modest $500 billion measure – and “they will go along with it” once a deal is struck between Democrats and the White House.

House Democrats earlier passed a $2.2 trillion package, a slimmed down version of the more than $3 trillion measure they approved in May.

“We’re asking for targeted assistance,” said Kudlow, ticking off a list: enhanced unemployment benefits, aid to small businesses and direct stimulus checks to individuals.

“Those are things everybody absolutely wants,” Kudlow said.

Among the sticking points is the size of enhanced unemployment benefits. Democrats wants Americans who lost their jobs due to the pandemic to receive an extra $600 a week – the same amount that was approved as part of the CARES Act in March – while the White House has supported $400 a week.

Democrats also want funds for cash-strapped state and local governments, which bore the brunt of coronavirus costs, help for schools for COVID-19 testing and cleaning, and funds for the postal service to ensure smooth operations through the election.

“I don’t understand the intransigence from my Democratic friends,” Kudlow said, insisting the U.S. is in the midst of a V-shaped recovery from the coronavirus-induced recession.

In a note to her caucus, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday President Donald Trump still is not taking the coronavirus pandemic seriously, offering just $45 billion in new money for meeting health needs, “about 60% of what is needed, according to medical experts. More importantly, it is not spent strategically.”

She also noted there still is no national plan for testing, tracing and treatment.

“It is hard to understand who is shaping their approach, which to date has been a miserable and deadly failure,” Pelosi said.

“Until these serious issues are resolved, we remain at an impasse.”

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Vegan Kitchen: Support Black-owned food businesses

Shanna-Kay Wright uses simple ingredients to make the vegan dishes at Yardie Ting in Portland. The owner of the Jamaican restaurant in the Public Market House, Wright says the menu’s many vegan choices reflect the influence of Ital food on the island.

Ital food, eaten by members of the Rastafari religion and movement, is usually vegetarian and always minimally processed. However, Wright points out that Yardie Ting’s vegan dishes don’t qualify as Ital, since to suit local tastes she uses non-Ital ingredients such as salt and garlic powder.

“All my years growing up in Jamaica, you would not use any all-purpose seasoning,” explained Wright, who has run a catering business in Portland since 2013. “Ital means food that is from the earth. No powder seasonings. No salt. All organic. All natural.”

The jerk tofu at Yardie Ting in the Portland Public Market House comes with black beans and a kick of spice. Photo courtesy of Yardie Ting

Ital or not, the Yardie Ting vegan dishes, including jerk tofu, coconut curry, the Mon Hungry sandwich, spinach patties, and the fried plantains, taste great and sell well.

But Wright reports foot traffic at the Public Market House remains slow, with many of the surrounding office buildings still empty. Even so, the brand new restaurant is “staying afloat.”

I’d like to see Yardie Ting doing better. And it’s not just because I like the food.

It’s also because Wright is Black, and I want to take action to promote equity and demonstrate that Black Lives Matter. As a white ally in one of the whitest states in the nation, one of the simplest actions I can take is to spend my money at Black-owned businesses, such as Yardie Ting.

In Maine, we’re blessed to have the new directory, which allows users to search by business category and region of Maine. When the site launched in June, it confirmed what I suspected. Portland is home to many Black-owned restaurants, and most offer robust vegan choices.

One of the longest-running vegan-friendly, Black-owned restaurants in Portland is Asmara on Oak Street, which owner Asmeret Teklu opened in 2004. The Eritrean restaurant was shuttered for many months because of the pandemic before it reopened in June and it remains takeout only.

All of Asmara’s vegetarian dishes are vegan, and Teklu told me she sells more vegetarian than non-vegetarian dishes these days.

“We’re doing well, so far,” said Teklu, who grew up in Eritrea and moved to Maine in 1988. “It’s not like it used to be, but it’s good for this time.”

She said the vegetarian sampler plate, which is made to feed a family of four and costs $49.95, is a strong seller right now. Asmara’s sampler plate “has a little bit of all the vegetarian options,” such as steamed greens, stewed lentils, ground and roasted chickpeas, and spicy stewed okra and potatoes. All the meals come with either rice or traditional injera, a flatbread made from a fermented dough of ground teff grains.


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Bill to expand support for community addiction treatment passes House

A bill that would establish a $25 million fund to support organizations specializing in addiction treatment and support for family members of those suffering from addiction is heading to the Senate after passing the House last week.

The Family Support Services for Addiction Act, introduced by a bipartisan group of lawmakers including Sens. Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandMeeting Trump Supreme Court pick a bridge too far for some Democrats Sunday shows preview: Lawmakers prepare for SCOTUS confirmation hearings before election Sunday shows preview: Justice Ginsburg dies, sparking partisan battle over vacancy before election MORE (D-N.Y.) and Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore CapitoHillicon Valley: Senate panel votes to subpoena Big Tech executives | Amazon says over 19,000 workers tested positive for COVID-19 | Democrats demand DHS release report warning of election interference GOP senators call on Trump to oppose nationalizing 5G Congress must finish work on popular conservation bill before time runs out MORE (R-WV) in the Senate as well as Reps. David TroneDavid John TroneUS Chamber of Commerce set to endorse 23 House freshman Democrats Preventing the opioid epidemic from getting worse requires attacking it at the source Bicameral group of Democrats introduces bill to protect immigrant laborers MORE (D-Md.) and Dan MeuserDaniel (Dan) MeuserMORE (R-Pa.) in the House, passed the lower chamber via voice vote on Thursday.

Under the bill, local and national groups under a wide umbrella of addiction-related services would be allowed to apply for grants under a fund established to provide $25 million in grants over half a decade. Applicable groups include addiction support groups for both those with addictions and their families, education and training organizations, as well as “systems navigation” services which help families find addiction treatment centers.

“Addressing the addiction crisis in our state requires supporting families who are impacted by the crisis every day. Families are often quickly thrown into a world of addiction and substance use disorder that they know little about, without the resources they need to support their loved ones,” Gillibrand said in a news release in February.

“This key step will support people living with substance use disorder and will encourage their recovery,” she added.

Rates of addiction and substance misuse have risen across the U.S. amid the coronavirus outbreak, which has forced millions out of work and deepened economic woes for many Americans. A survey earlier this year by the Addiction Policy Forum found that 20 percent of Americans reported themselves or a family member increasing their use of recreational drugs or alcohol since the pandemic began.

A separate study last year before COVID-19 reached the U.S. found that nearly half of U.S. adults knew a family member with substance abuse issues.

The lawmakers’ bill is supported by a number of national and local groups focused on battling stigmas around addiction treatment, including the Center on Addiction and Partnership for Drug-Free Kids, which operates

One supporter of the bill pointed to the expansion of family support services as a key step in battling the

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Pre-Order This Special Himalayan Tea and Help Support a Nepalese Tea Garden

Just in time for colder weather, a premium tea company is launching a cool program that any tea lover should be interested in. From now through the end of October, Rare Tea Company is offering customers the opportunity to pre-buy an autumn harvest for a “Special Himalayan Harvest” black tea—all the while supporting a family-run organic tea garden in Nepal.

Paul Winch-Furness

© Provided by Food & Wine
Paul Winch-Furness

Rare Tea Company, which operates through direct trade and buys from farmers at prices the farmers set—as opposed to buying from brokers, commodity markets, or middle-men—counts Claridge’s in London, Noma in Copenhagen, and Benu in San Francisco among its customers. However, Rare Tea Company has lost 70 percent of its business due to the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting devastation that has rippled across the hospitality industry, founder and CEO Henrietta Lovell told Food & Wine. Much of the demand for high-end tea has fallen away, she said.

“We want to buy as much as we can from these farms because they really need it, but the problem is not supply, it’s demand,” she said over FaceTime. 

A handful of large companies supply the majority of tea sold in Europe and North America, and most of the communities supplying that tea live in poverty. Programs like this give consumers a chance to shop ethically, with their money going more directly to the farmer.

For the past decade, the company has been working with Jun Chiyabari, described by Rare Tea Company as “one of the best tea gardens in the world.” With business down, Rare Tea Company didn’t have the funds or demand to purchase an autumn harvest that Jun Chiyabari needed to sell. That’s where the Special Himalayan Harvest tea comes in. After talking with the team at the tea garden, Lovell came up with the idea to offer customers a chance to pre-buy it through Rare Tea Company. 

a little boy that is standing in the grass: Paul Winch-Furness

© Provided by Food & Wine
Paul Winch-Furness

Gallery: Your Bar Cart Isn’t Complete Until You’ve Got A Bottle Of Mezcal (Delish)

Here’s how it works: Go to Rare Tea Company’s website and select how much tea you’d like to pre-order. The Special Himalayan Harvest is available in three quantities: 300 grams (£110, or $143.49 USD), 500 grams (£185, or $241.32), and one kilogram (£365, or $476.12). Lovell compares the pre-purchasing process to buying wine en primeur—aka buying wine before it’s been bottled, while it’s still in the barrel. She says that every time a purchase is made, Rare Tea Company will tell Jun Chiyabari, who will produce that amount. Only producing what is pre-ordered will ensure the tea garden isn’t left with excess product to sell. 

You can get an entire year’s worth of tea for less than $2 per day.

© Paul Winch-Furness
You can get an entire year’s worth of tea for less than $2 per day.

“It’s what we can do together as a community, as a tea-loving community, to support a farm and get them through,” she said.

The tea itself hasn’t been picked and crafted yet—the top image above is described

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Local 4 to host 48th annual ‘Support Our Capuchin Kitchen’ Telethon on Oct. 1

The Capuchin Soup Kitchen is partnering with Local 4 to host their 48th annual Support Our Capuchin Kitchen (SOCK) Fundraiser on Oct. 1.

The SOCK Fundraiser helps support the soup kitchen’s efforts to serve tens of thousands of individuals and families each year with meals, hospitality and more. With seven programs at five locations on Detroit’s east side, the soup kitchen helps people struggling with poverty, hunger, homelessness, substance abuse and other challenges.

The telethon will be broadcasted and held virtually between 6 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Thursday. Throughout the day, Local 4 will share with viewers the important and life-changing work that the Capuchin Soup Kitchen has done for the community.

How to donate

Viewers will be invited to support the soup kitchen and “Be a Friend” to its guests by donating over the phone at 313-579-2102 or on the SOCK Telethon website at

Individuals interested in supporting Capuchin Soup Kitchen can also virtually bid on auction items on the SOCK Telethon website right here. Bidding for the silent auction ends on Oct. 5.

“2020 has been a challenging year for everybody. For those of us ministering with guests at our Capuchin Soup Kitchen sites, we temporarily redesigned our approach from the ground up during the height of the public health crisis – serving take-away meals, ensuring social distancing at our sites and focusing on three fundamental services: distribution of meals and pantry foods, access to our social workers, and the safe continuation of our two residential programs,” said Brother Jerry Johnson, Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, executive director of the Capuchin Soup Kitchen. “The annual SOCK event is a key component of what makes it possible for us to continue this work. We are grateful for so many generous benefactors over many years who have supported the work we do to ease suffering in our communities.”

The annual fundraiser’s traditional in-person meal will not take place this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. Click here to visit the SOCK Telethon website for more information.

The 48th annual SOCK Fundraiser and Telethon is sponsored by generous matching gifts from: DTE Energy Foundation, Wells Fargo Foundation, David Bazzy, The Boutrous Company, Thomas and Carol Cracchiolo Foundation, Lear Corporation, Weingartz, Shelving Inc., Joanne and John C. Carter, Steven Pelvak, Bodman, Edw. C. Levy Co., BB&E Consulting Engineers & Professionals, Infogroup, Chelsea Milling Company “Jiffy” mixes, Detroit Lions and Clark Eye Care.

Copyright 2020 by WDIV ClickOnDetroit – All rights reserved.

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Trump won’t have the support to stay in the White House if he loses in November

Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden tried a different approach when asked what would happen if President Trump refused to accept losing the Nov. 3 general election.

a man wearing a suit and tie

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“Every vote in this country is going to be heard, and they’ll not be stopped,” Biden told MSNBC in a pre-taped interview that aired Saturday.

He added, “I’m confident all the irresponsible, outrageous attacks on voting, we’ll have an election in this country as we always have had. And he’ll leave.”

Biden was criticized this week by the likes of former Trump national security adviser H.R. McMaster for suggesting the military could intervene during a transition if the president didn’t vacate the White House. McMaster’s comments follow the president declining to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he is defeated this fall.

“The power of the Oval Office depends on those in authority to enforce what he says,” the two-term vice president and 36-year Delaware senator told the outlet.

“He already had six members of his administration who were four-star generals and major positions in Homeland Security and the like who said that this guy’s not fit to be president,” he continued. “I don’t think he’s going to get the FBI to follow him, get anybody else to enforce something that’s not real.”

Biden did concede he was concerned about the possibility of unrest if Trump were to complain about ballots or polling stations on Election Day, especially if the outcome is close and early results indicate that he is in the lead.

“The last thing we need is, you know, the equivalent of a coup. This is not who we are. No one’s gonna back you if that occurs,” he said.

Biden this week appeared gobsmacked by Trump’s refusal to guarantee a peaceful transition, later claiming it was a distraction from the real issues at stake in their contest.

“What country are we in? I’m being facetious. I said, what country are we in? Look, he says the most irrational things. I don’t know what to say,” Biden told reporters in Delaware on Wednesday.

Tags: News, 2020 Elections, Campaigns, Joe Biden, Campaign 2020, Donald Trump, White House

Original Author: Naomi Lim

Original Location: Biden: Trump won’t have the support to stay in the White House if he loses in November

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A show of support comes out for Crown Candy Kitchen | News Headlines

NORTH ST. LOUIS ( — A call for help on social media may have helped saved a St. Louis staple.

Crown Candy Kitchen took to their social media accounts this week reaching out for support.  Their business has dwindled in recent months and they said they haven’t seen a line for lunch in months.

News 4 stopped by Friday and saw a line out the door for the lunch time rush.

The owner, Andy Karandzieff, said what the show of support means to them. “It’s overwhelming. I mean, it is unbelievable the show and support and love that St. Louis has showed us. So, this will carry us for a while and it just gives me renewed faith and energy that we’re gonna get through this, it’s gonna be a little bit rough, but we’re gonna get through this. Thanks to all my awesome customers.”

Crown Candy plans to open up their online candy shop in early October and are already preparing for the holiday season. They will be able to ship your favorites all over the country.

Copyright 2020 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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House passes funding bill with GOP support to avert looming government shutdown

The House passed a bipartisan spending bill on Tuesday after reaching a deal with the White House to avert a government shutdown at the end of the month, keeping the federal government open until December.

a person standing in front of United States Supreme Court Building

© Provided by NBC News

The Democratic-controlled House voted 359-57 on the interim spending measure to fund the government through December 11th. The legislation, known as a continuing resolution or “CR,” was hailed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., in a statement Tuesday, who reached the deal with Republican leaders and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.

The legislation boosts funding for nutrition benefits to families, aid to farmers, and funds various parts of the federal government.

“We have reached an agreement with Republicans on the CR to add nearly $8 billion in desperately needed nutrition assistance for hungry schoolchildren and families,” Pelosi said. “We also increase accountability in the Commodity Credit Corporation, preventing funds for farmers from being misused for a Big Oil bailout.”

The resolution now heads to the Senate, but unclear when Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., will bring it to the floor. McConnell told reporters on Tuesday that he worked with Pelosi to replenish the Commodity Credit Corporation for aid to go directly to farmers.

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., however, criticized the process, saying that the resolution is only a temporary stopgap measure.

“A lot of to and froing. A lot of people wanted this, a lot of people wanted that. A lot of people didn’t want this, a lot of people didn’t want that,” he said. “But we have an agreement that will keep the government functioning for the people from now until December 11th.”

He added, “I’m hopeful that everyone will put their heads together to get the appropriation process done and we’ll probably do it in an omnibus, not single appropriation bills. Which is not a good way to do it either.”

Video: To prevent a complete shutdown, keep me at 50% in a liberal state and 75% in a conservative state: Fertitta (CNBC)

To prevent a complete shutdown, keep me at 50% in a liberal state and 75% in a conservative state: Fertitta



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Bung goes deep into the interior to shore up support for BN

BN election chief Bung Moktar Radin (left) given a rousing welcome in Kemabong in the interior of Sabah.

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Barisan Nasional election chief Bung Moktar Radin made a whistle-stop tour to four state constituencies deep in the interior yesterday to drum up support for the coalition.

With seats on the Sabah west coast anybody’s game, and many areas on the east coast seen as Warisan Plus strongholds, Bung was trying to cover as many areas as he could by visiting Bongawan, Kemabong, Sook and Tulid.

The Kinabatangan MP, who will be contesting the new Lamag state seat in his parliamentary constituency, travelled by helicopter to the remote locations, beginning at 8.30am in Bongawan, which BN is trying to wrest back from Warisan.

Bung ensured his speeches were brief, impactful and to the point before rushing over to his waiting chopper to fly to the next location.

A dash from the helicopter, a brief speech, and off to the next stop.

He rallied supporters to vote for the BN candidates in their areas and deny Warisan Plus the chance to be returned as the state government, before completing his itinerary at about 7pm.

Several selected media representatives accompanied Bung as he criss-crossed the far-flung locations spread over three parliamentary constituencies.

In Bongawan, former district officer Awg Syairin Awg Bakar is attempting to reclaim the seat for BN against Warisan’s Daud Yusof, who won in the 14th general election after beating Mohamad Alamin, the Kimanis MP, among others.

The Kemabong seat, which lies within the Tenom parliamentary constituency, was won by BN through Jamawi Jaafar, who had defected to Warisan but switched allegiance back to BN just before the dissolution of the state assembly on July 30.

A view of the interior from the air.

Sabah Umno information chief and former Tenom MP Raime Unggi is contesting in Kemabong, which sits in the Murut heartland, after being dropped in the last general election.

He is standing against five others, including Lucas Umbul of Upko, which is part of Warisan Plus, and former Umno assemblyman Rubin Balang, who is an influential figure despite contesting as an independent.

While BN’s competition in Bongawan and Kemabong is directly against Warisan and others, the same cannot be said for Tulid and Sook, where the coalition will face their own allies such as PBS and STAR of Perikatan Nasional.

In Sook, which lies within the Pensiangan parliamentary area, BN’s Bonepes Been is locked in a five-way fight, including against incumbent Ellron Angin of STAR, while party colleague Matusin Bowie will face off against PBS’ Suman Yasambun and STAR’s Flovia Ng, apart from Warisan’s Mudi Dubing, in a seven-sided battle in Tulid.

Ellron had won the seat under PBRS, which is a BN component, in GE14. He joined STAR in December 2018.

Kemabong resident Juanis Tingkalu wants BN to win back all the seats.

Meanwhile, Kemabong resident Juanis Tingkalu, 36, said he wanted BN to take back all the seats.

“Jamawi shifted allegiance to Warisan last

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