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Sherman A1

Sherman A1's Journal
Sherman A1's Journal
April 10, 2020

Schools Are Cutting Back Meal Services, Putting More Demand On Food Banks

Food service employees are among the few workers in school districts physically reporting for work every day during the pandemic lockdowns, joining front-line efforts to keep needy kids fed and safe.

“Our jobs are not necessarily monetarily driven, they’re more mission-driven,” said Irene Wan, director of Maplewood Richmond Heights School District’s food service division. “We’re here to serve people, we’re here to serve our families.”

Districts throughout the region have prepped, packed and handed out more than 100,000 meals — breakfasts and lunches — to kids around the St. Louis region. Demand for food has increased in St. Louis, with 1,400 more meals served last week than the one prior.

But then the virus struck the front lines.


April 10, 2020

Small Farms Adapt As Coronavirus Pandemic Shortens St. Louis Farmers Market Season

Saturday was supposed to be the first day of the farmers market in Tower Grove Park, one of the largest in the region, but St. Louis’ stay-at home order dashed hopes of the spring market season beginning on time.

The delay comes on top of the cancellation of the last weeks of the winter market season, meaning the small producers who depend on farmers markets to survive are taking a double hit. Farmers that sold to restaurants are facing even more difficulties. But they’re adapting, as they always have.

“When you’re in this business, you know that you’re going to have to adapt and change to whatever Mother Nature brings you,” said Erin Bernsen of Legacy Circle Farms. “And this year, Mother Nature brought us the closing of farmers markets because of the coronavirus.”

Bernsen grows fruits, greens and root vegetables at the farm, located about 50 miles south of St. Louis in Londell, Missouri. Before the pandemic, the vast majority of her sales came from farmers markets in Franklin County.

Saturday was supposed to be the first day of the farmers market in Tower Grove Park, one of the largest in the region, but St. Louis’ stay-at home order dashed hopes of the spring market season beginning on time.

The delay comes on top of the cancellation of the last weeks of the winter market season, meaning the small producers who depend on farmers markets to survive are taking a double hit. Farmers that sold to restaurants are facing even more difficulties. But they’re adapting, as they always have.


April 4, 2020

St. Louis' Response To The 1918 Spanish Flu Pandemic Was Lauded. Rightly So?

In determining the best guidelines for government action during the COVID-19 outbreak, city leaders and officials are looking at how different metros responded during the 1918 flu pandemic. The general consensus is that because St. Louis implemented more extensive quarantine measures, the area had a lower death rate than other cities — like Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and New York City.

In his latest piece, Chris Naffziger, who writes about history and architecture for St. Louis Magazine, wrote that while city officials managed to prevent the deaths of thousands during the pandemic of 1918 through 1920, St. Louis’ response to the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic wasn't quite what we've been told.

“If you look to smaller, industrial cities in the Midwest, we did not do as well, and I think that probably had a lot to do with the very bad coal pollution,” Naffziger said Wednesday on St. Louis on the Air.

“I want to stress that by no means am I saying that we should not learn the lessons [of St. Louis’ response to the 1918 pandemic],” he continued. “What Dr. Starkloff taught us from 1918 is still an incredibly valuable lesson about social distancing; it does work. However, if we look at Minneapolis, Minneapolis had a far lower rate of infection and death than St. Louis and, actually, several other Midwestern cities did as well.”


April 4, 2020

First Openly Gay Bishop To Lead The Episcopal Diocese of Missouri With Hope And Vision

The Episcopal Diocese of Missouri will soon have a new bishop. The Rev. Deon Johnson officially will become the 11th bishop of the diocese when he is consecrated on June 13. Johnson’s transition into the role is historic: He’s the first openly gay bishop to lead the Diocese of Missouri.

He and his husband and their two kids moved to St. Louis in February with hopes of getting adjusted to the region. That was put on hold as the coronavirus pandemic grew. St. Louis Public Radio’s Marissanne Lewis-Thompson spoke with Johnson about his new role and how he’s approaching the position in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic


April 3, 2020

Wakefern Donates Trailers to Move Medical Equipment

Wakefern Food Corp., the Keasbey, N.J.-based retailer cooperative whose members own and operate ShopRite and other supermarket banners, has donated 12 trailers to move hospital equipment to four pop-up field hospitals being set up around its home state, according to a published report.

“I want to give a shout out today, among others, to ShopRite and Wakefern Food Corp. for their help in securing trailers for the mobile field hospital equipment,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said during a March 25 daily briefing, as reported by NJ Advance. “We are preparing, based on what we see, in real time. We must be ready to ensure hospital capacity, and it is my fervent hope that these preparedness measures remain just that — measures of preparedness.”

The equipment has been received from the federal government and will be used to operate the pop-up facilities, a spokeswoman for the governor told the newspaper.

The 250-bed locations will be at the Meadowlands Exposition Center, in Secaucus; the New Jersey Convention Center and Exposition Center, in Edison; the Atlantic City Convention Center; and a state Urban Search and Rescue Facility that has yet to be determined. These overflow facilities will house critically ill patients who don’t have COVID-19, to alleviate stress placed on the state’s hospitals.


April 3, 2020

H-E-B Bringing Restaurant Meals In-Store

H-E-B is looking to help the hurting restaurant industry and tap pent-up demand for foodservice with an innovative new program.

The Texas-based grocery chain has teamed up with local restaurants to prepare meals-to-go for its Meal Simple program of chef-inspired grab-and-go meals.

Three restaurants in each city will prepare dishes for a limited number of stores as an effort by H-E-B to pump money into beloved Texas restaurants struggling to stay alive during the coronavirus pandemic which has devastated the state’s restaurant industry, according to the Houston Chronicle.


April 3, 2020

Whole Foods Market Workers Plan Walkout

Whole Foods Market employees are planning a "sick-out" in protest of a perceived lack of protections for workers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to Vice.com, Whole Foods employees will call in sick on Tuesday to demand paid leave for all workers who stay home or self-quarantine during the crisis, free coronavirus testing for all employees, and hazard pay of double the current hourly wage for employees who show up to work during the pandemic.

"COVID-19 is a very real threat to the safety of our workforce and customers,” according to Whole Worker, the national worker group that is organizing the “sick out”. “We cannot wait for politicians, institutions, or our own management to step in to protect us.”


April 3, 2020

Rouses, Others Closing Stores for Easter Sunday

As part of a $1 million investment in its associates, which includes April bonuses for frontline associates and accelerated scheduled quarterly bonuses for store and department managers, Rouses Markets is one of several grocers that will close its stores on Easter Sunday, April 12, to give its 7,000 employees an additional paid holiday — and a well-deserved break.

Other retailers that will be closed on Easter Sunday include Costco, Target, Publix, Aldi, Sam's Club and Trader Joe's.

The company has also been providing store employees meals on their breaks since the COVID-19 outbreak began, and, through the end of May, is giving associates and their immediate family members free access to telehealth program Ochsner Anywhere Care, regardless of whether they have health insurance. Employees can connect to a licensed health care provider to receive a diagnosis and treatment plan, or speak with a licensed therapist without having to leave home.

In common with other grocers, Rouses has also boosted in-store protections to support associates and customers, including stringent cleaning routines, the ongoing installation of plexiglass partitions at checkout, floor markers at checkout lanes to aid social distancing, and having cashiers sanitize checkout areas after each customer transaction. Other retailers, notably Kroger, Walmart and Target, are also paying out bonuses to reward workers for their dedication in a time of crisis.


April 3, 2020

Email to Hobby Lobby (Looty Booty) regarding their decision to operate

in defiance of Stay at Home Orders.

Note that their website indicates that their stores are now closed but as we know several of them closed then reopened in areas where they were not supposed to.


Gentlemen: I am writing to express my absolute disgust with the decision by this company to operate stores in defiance of Stay at Home orders in several states requiring Non-Essential businesses such as yours to close. You may rest assured that I will never set foot in your stores again and I will share my feelings with others.

Most Sincerely,

April 1, 2020

Unintended consequences I've noted of late

sheltering in place and do what we can to mitigate Covid 19 I’ve noted a few things around the neighborhood.

The trash cans seem to be overflowing as folks are doing some probably overdue spring cleaning or are ordering more takeout.

Home Depot paint department is extra busy with folks buying interior and exterior paint for their houses.

Traffic is much lighter, it’s like a Sunday morning all the time.

The kids down the street are playing basketball and apparently still don’t get the whole physical distancing thing.

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