Kountable offers social supply chain financing to SMEs
By Tamarah Webb
Financial regulation, always a critical challenge for financial services firms, has assumed heightened importance in the aftermath of the recent banking crisis. Risk management forced banks to pull back from small business lending as pressure to reduce risk exposure increased. Needless to say, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) have had it tough finding a bank loan across the globe—and that includes major economies like the U.S. and Europe—SMEs in emerging markets find they’re being shut out of the bank lending market altogether.
Alternative lending company Kountable, Inc. is bringing modern trade technologies and service providers to the global population of SMEs that participate in Fortune 1000 supply chain transactions using only the tools available to SMEs, says Chris Hale, CEO of
The company’s quirky name is a play on different words—including “accountability” and the “K-factor,” a marketing term for the viral quality of online content.
Hale, a former financial advisor with Ameriprise Financial, Inc. is also the founder of
The best of these entrepreneurs have well-developed capabilities to source and execute on significant untapped business opportunities in emerging economies that are invisible to U.S. investors.
“The trick for Americans has always been to find and vet high-quality entrepreneurs and deals in these locales with scarce information,” says Hale.
This information brings transparency and process controls to high-quality cross-border transactions that were previously conducting outside of a formal network.
“Each trade we do creates more data on our trading ecosystem and increases the value and power of the network,” says Hale.
An entrepreneur in Rwanda has a contract to put a computer lab in a school for girls and he wants to buy computers from a U.S. company. No seller is going to ship inventory to a small entrepreneur in Africa without getting paid first. But the school board doesn’t want to pay a small entrepreneur without seeing the goods.
The entrepreneur needs financing for those few weeks when the computers are being delivered.
The projects provide an opportunity for short-term investments (an average of 90 days) in private debt.
Finding and evaluating quality investments within a consistent framework is the greatest challenge when investing in foreign markets. With the availability of consistent information, investors can effectively evaluate the risks and mitigate them accordingly. Accessing short-term investments like those made available in global trade creates a strong degree of institutional participation in an otherwise retail transaction.
The goal of leveraging trade is to use known participants, like the Fortune 1000, and known mitigants, like currency hedging, insurance and process controls and using Kountable technology platform to manage identity and project management within that framework.
According to Hale, any time an investor can leverage an existing framework and bring a more mature market solution to an emerging market investment they should find a way to do so.
Growing the U.S. economy and global market
“There are various levels of awareness of these issues that are seriously limiting the distribution of their products and the volume of their sales, says Hale. “With us, more high-quality U.S.-made products get into these fast-growing markets to contribute to the development of regional infrastructure like hospitals, universities, institutional technology infrastructure.”
“We made our first draw against that line on March 1st and since then, revenues have been in line with expectations,” Hale says.
Founded in 2014,
Hale says, “One of the grand challenges when building a platform like
Choosing to build for its SMEs first and gain interest from more traditional institutional partners later,
“We saw the value in bringing the millions of excluded participants that are our small business users into a more institutional framework,” says Hale.
Becoming a user is simple. Mobile is the point of entry into foreign markets and if a small business wants to begin with
The trade gap
The gap in trade is difficult to see because traditional trade participants and local financial institutions look at the transaction with a retail, balance sheet focused lens.
“We learned to look at the larger network of participants involved in the cross-border transaction,” says Hale. “We came to understand that any indirect channel like third-party distribution, local content requirements, diversity requirements and sub-contracting all present similar challenges.
Trade has always been based on networks, both formal and informal. Individuals and countries that engage in mutually beneficial trade prosper together and want to do more business.
Africa and globalization
Launching in East Africa, specifically Kigali, Rwanda in May of 2015,
“We have had to address data scarcity and geographic risks that otherwise would not be part of the platform,” says Hale. “By beginning there, we are better prepared to scale. It took beginning in Rwanda to understand the breadth of the opportunity.”
The volume and quality of the opportunity of
“Our users found it difficult to do multiple deals at the same time,” says Hale. “They didn’t bid on larger contracts due to the difficulties of the traditional process. They also spent exorbitant amounts of time sourcing products or managing logistics.”
Reimagining the Past
Engineering a Locomotive
By Tamarah Webb
AS THE DOORS of the Everleigh Social Club open near Chicago’s West Loop, you walk into a magical mystical world of “alternate history.” Sweets are on every table—cheesecake, cookies, and scones. Milk and tea are served at the bar in contrast to its brothel heydays of “strong spirits.” Corsets, buttons, and neo-Victorian styles capture the sophisticated elegance of the old and new mixes.
This is the night Steampunk Chicago assembled its first social gathering to help participants escape day-to-day life schedules, and engage in a dream that allows them to transform into someone living in a different era with a different occupation; at least for the night. Steampunk member Tom Swalls is addressed as The Cranky Ol’ Chef for the night’s Steampunk event. He serves up a creation of appetizers and dips—varieties for everyone to enjoy.
“When people say that sometimes on the weekends I like to visit the land of make-believe because real life is kind of mundane and crummy with work and bills and stuff; it’s kind of fun to put on a different outfit to pretend like I’m a traveler,” said Abbey Manalli, an illustrator and graphic designer who journeyed from Milwaukee, Wis., to the Steampunk gathering. “I think it’s a healthy form of escapism.”
The term “Steampunk” applies to the Victorian era of life and costuming. Aspects of various garments: frock coats, breeches, triple-breasted vests, ankle length skirts with bustles, and crinolines, are transformed to incorporate ideas of war and romance, in contrast to the conservative ways of the Victorian era.
“Steampunk” is a subgenre, a style, a mix, and a theme. “Steam” addresses 19th-century advanced technologies in a world were electricity and petroleum doesn’t exist. “Punk” expresses an edge applied to the Victorian style and subgenre.
In the world of Steampunk, there is a strong reliance on mechanisms —opposed to complex technology. Gadgets with gears, pulleys, and ropes— all the cool tangible stuff that is neat to see in motion—are expressions of the industrial aspect of Steampunk, according to designers, Chris Erickson.
Erickson and event coordinator, Bek Andoloro, are organizers who represent Copper Roses & Absinthe, a group that helped give the night a sense of classy science fiction in a time of the 1880s.
When a fashion show of various Steampunk trends came onto the stage, the audience is captivated. A collection of military earth tones, headwear, leather footing, vintage army coats, and combat props are introduced to the audience. Then, a second collection silhouette models: elegant dresses, corsets, lace, and tan fabrics. Cameras filled the stage with lightning.
At this gathering, fashion is not only unique, but it is genuine. Steampunk fashion circulates around the idea of organic construction and handmade design.
MySteampunkArmy — the brainchild of Tommy Roberson and Varla Skye — also attended the event. They arrived with their team of Steampunk models.
Roberson and Skye form a dynamic duo; Roberson institutes his talents of photography, wardrobe design, and prop constructions; Skye implements design and styling that perform as strong components for MySteampunkArmy models.
Copper constructed weapons were edgy props of various Steampunk Army models. Innovated fictional fantasy arm cannons, double barrel steam-powered machine guns, and a trident staff were used to complete the Steampunk Army ensembles. Getting into character—being your character—and having fun guides the modeling experience. Even down to the make-up, detail dominates.
“I think a big thing is that you have to extenuate all the details you have, you know it's not just that you are selling a dress or your selling a hat, its every item on your body,” said MySteampunk Army model Rebecca Mullins.
This “alternative world” allows models to experience a type of modeling that has a fashionable image and demands a character of attitude and spunk.
Ticking clock watches note the night’s passing hours, pirouetting to tunes on the record player, and sharing laughs caps off the Chicago Steampunk gathering. Attending the next event may be a train worth traveling if you like worlds of tinkering gadgets, vintage clothes, and a welcoming social scene.
Before he was a photojournalist for the Chicago Sun-Times Media, teaching students at Northwestern University, and named the 2013 Chicago Journalist of the Year, Rob Hart was just a guy in love with photography. All he wanted to do was be in a corner, holding his camera. He didn’t come out of his shell without the help of an instructor who had faith in him, faith he now puts into those trying to follow in his footsteps.
By Tamarah Webb | Dec. 8, 2014, 6:25 p.m.
There’s no “safe” spot on the boat as fish fly into the air, flipping their tails, splashing water everywhere. Legs dangle off the side of boats as men and women outstretch their arms, hands grasp the pole-end of fishing nets in hopes of catching the flying fishes. It’s all happening in Bath, Ill., at the 2011 Original Redneck Fishing Tournament. Participants dodge the painful smacks of Asian Carp as they exit the water from all directions like trapped animals trying to escape a bottomless pit. Award-winning photojournalist and Adjunct Faculty Member of Photojournalism at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism, Rob Hart sits on a fishing boat (camera in hand), high up in a swivel fishing seat away from the whirlwind of flying carp.
Hart, who was named the 2013 Chicago Journalist of the Year, now channels his efforts in education. He recently inspired a group of past students to start “When We Blink,” a blog documenting “The Lives of Women and Girls.” Students in his photojournalism classes learn firsthand the ways of the “force” (although not relating to Star Wars but the photojournalism spectacle). Simultaneously Hart continues expanding as a photojournalist: working as a freelancer for colleges and universities, Northwestern included, with the addition of national publications like the New York Times, Financial Times and Chicago Tribune.
Snapping photos like popping popcorn, Hart, along with Olympics photographer and best friend, Sol Neelman, starts shooting the Redneck Fishing scene. Neelman—who also focuses his photography on weird sports—bubble soccer, unicycle football and ostrich racing—convinced Hart to join him at the event. As Hart reaches into his fanny pack, he begins scrimmaging through his stash of cheap beers to swap out camera lenses. Neelman laughs at the sight. “When you’re photographing an event like Redneck Fishing, having a beer in your hand gives you a certain street cred: people know that you’re cool, even if you dress like you’re from the city,” Neelman says. Yet street cred isn’t what Hart is focused on, as his casual beer is always in good company. This proved even truer in 2013. Hart was let go from the Chicago Sun-Times after working 12 years as a photojournalist. Immediately he took a trip to a bar and spent some quality time with his liquid luxury.
Putting in work
Now Hart stands in front of a photojournalism class at Northwestern University. His jokes cause ripples of laughter among students. It’s obvious no one is on guard as individual students rise to present a photo series formulated during the previous week on a subject they chose to document. Enquiring eyes examine each presentation, and comments are exchanged like playing cards among the class of college photojournalists. Hart walks the room in classic white Adidas that have the three black stripes down the side. He is a slim man wearing light washed blue jeans with a dark tan blazer and a baby blue collared shirt underneath. He runs pasty white fingers through a mop of thick brown and gray hair as he comments on his favorite parts of each piece he sees students present. “I love the way you framed this shot here,” says Hart to a boy who eloquently captured the typical day of a man working at a Chicago tailor shop in his neighborhood. A girl with copper-brown eyes and a long upper-lip, grinning alertly, accompanies the next presentation. She is small and fine boned. She first shows the class a photo of a man at his book signing. Although dull and less interesting, it was highlighted by Hart saying, “Although I think it would have been great to capture more in the background, I think you were smart to take advantage of this moment. Look at his goatee; I think that is one of the best goatees I’ve ever seen. It’s just perfectly groomed and shaped.” She grins toothily as her fellow students join in—previously unaware of the retro goatee.
John H. White
When class lets out, Hart rushes next door for a sit-down at Native Foods Café. Not having far to go, he leaves his coat in the classroom, allowing the tan blazer to be his only warmth against Chicago’s chilly November wind. Approaching the counter, he orders a sandwich with a side of sweet potato fries—a quick bite before teaching his next photojournalism class. “Your order will be right out to you,” says a young woman behind the counter. “Okay, thanks so much,” Hart says with a polite grin and small nod of the head. Not too long ago Hart was a photojournalism student, although not at Northwestern, but close by, at Columbia College Chicago. During 1987, a 19-year-old Hart stepped away from the mundane Detroit scene and ventured to the big city for bigger excitement. His first class was with 1982 Pulitzer Prize winner John H. White.
“There would be no substitute for having him in your life,” says Hart. “There are probably thousands of us in the world that are different people, just from sitting in his class for one night.” (Hart’s blue eyes beam as he reminisces).
As a freshman at Columbia College Chicago, the South Loop Club didn’t card teens, making it the hot spot for meet-ups with roommates, White, and sometimes Jesse Jackson’s grandkids (White’s godchildren). Conversations surrounded pictures, news
Of course, Hart had no idea he would one day be joining White as a professional photojournalist at Chicago Sun-Time Media, but after his 12 years of employment, things took a drastic change. On May 30, 2013, while Hart was up feeding his kids—three-month-old twins, Harper and Finn, and 2-year-old Parker— at 5 a.m., White was watching the sunrise. “He said, ‘It was beautiful, today is going to be the greatest day ever,’” says Hart, who gave White a playful response assuring the opposite idea as they walked into work later that morning. At 9:30 a.m., Hart, White and 26 other photojournalists lost their jobs.
Shine, shine, shine on
Although Hart isn’t planning to work a 9-to-5 for news again—he has more freedom freelancing for clients: shooting photos for college Alumni magazines and view books Northwestern sends out as ads—his motives are still the same: to make photography come to life. He wants to help viewers feel what his photo subject(s) feel and to be the conduit for what his subject(s) are going through. “I want to be known not for what happened to me losing my job at the Chicago Sun-Times, but for the work I do as a photojournalist,” says Hart.
Adjunct Faculty | Photojournalism | MEDILL School of Journalism |
How to know that you’re drinking a quality espresso
Would you like to uncover the secrets to the ideal espresso? Reading recipes will get you so far, but follow these tips to ensure quality in your next espresso coffee beverage thanks to Matt Potter—assistant store manager of Starbucks in Dearborn Park.
By Tamarah Webb | Sept. 21, 2014, 9:50 AM
The right roast.
Although espresso brewing can be substituted with any roast, you need to know how much caffeine you wish to consume. “The longer the coffee is roasted, the darker it becomes, and just like alcohol, caffeine cooks out; therefore, the lighter the roast, the more caffeine. A quality espresso needs a medium to dark roasted coffee beans.
Better your beans.
Purchase coffee intended for espresso making is also an option. This ensures the intensity of the beverage. Using a basic coffee brand may give a low-intensity espresso. “Always store coffee beans in airtight packaging. When beans are purchased, they should be packed to prevent oxygen from entering the beans.”
Arabica vs. Robusta.
“Use 100 percent Arabica coffee for espresso brewing.” Arabica coffee is grown in high elevations of the Sunbelt and gives sweet, soft tones of fruit and barriers from countries of Latin America and Colombia. Regardless of the roast, Arabica coffee guarantees better quality over the strong grainy taste of Robusta beans, which grow in the eastern hemisphere of Africa and Indonesia. “Robusta coffee is easier to grow and can withstand various weather conditions; using Robusta may give a mild rather and strongly brewed espresso.” Take a visit to 7-Eleven, Robusta coffee will be provided.
What a fine grind.
“Coffee beans must become more of a powder for a flavor to be pulled out of beans.” Course coffee beans, which are found in a French press, will not give an ideal espresso taste and may cause your espresso to have an unsteady flow when brewing. Course beans are used in regular coffee. Extremely fine beans are required for a quality espresso. NOTE: Use a barista to ease the espresso making process.
Tamp. Tamp. Tamp.
“After grinding, beans should be compressed. Similarly to how brown sugar is measured and flattened, espresso grounds must be tamped.” Tamping gives full saturation and a superb brew.
Agua freshness and temperature.
“Using filtered water rather than water from the tap does matter.” There is a leafy aftertaste associated with tap water that could debunk a good-looking espresso. For the proper flavor extraction, water should reach temperatures between 165 to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
If it’s bitter it’s a bummer. Exercise time management.
“A quality espresso will pour anywhere between 18-23 seconds.” Immediately after an espresso shot is brewed it must be used. “A shot of espresso that sits for 20-30 seconds is ruined. An expired espresso shot is extremely bitter and will ruin any beverage it is pouted into, no matter how much flavor is added.”
Pile on the layers.
“Three distinct layers should be produced before using an espresso shot.” The crema, body, and heart form the trio of a quality-fresh espresso. The base layer (the heart) is a black coffee color, the body is lighter, and the surface (crema) will reflect a coffee with creamer color. Within seconds the layers will bleed.
You can't beat a natural smell.
Before mingling your espresso with milk, flavors, and toppings, check things out. “Cupping a hand around your nose and the top of a cup of espresso then inhale the aroma. This should deliver hints of nutty notes.”
Full body quality.
A quality espresso has a full body. “Dry out your mouth and coat your tongue with the fresh espresso drink. The heaviness of the coating will depend on your use of milk type or water. An espresso with a heavy body is like whole milk as it weighs down your tongue. Intern, skimmed milk has a lighter body. The more body the heavier it feels the less body the lighter.” The taste, of the espresso, should be intensely strong and caramelly sweet with a nutty aftertaste.
Saliva is necessary.
“A good way to test the acidity of your espresso is to dry out your tongue and see how much your coffee makes you salivate. This process will deliver earthy undertones.” A quality espresso will cause salivation of the mouth. Medium acidity is a quality espresso.
Keep everything clean
“Espresso making can make things oily. Cleaning machinery and tools after every use will prevent spouts from clogging. Residue from past uses will ruin the taste, quality, and flow of any future espressos.”
Chocolate foods for pairing.
“The caramelly[sic] sweet and somewhat nutty aftertaste of a quality espresso makes it pair well with chocolate treats.”
Did you know?
Espresso Macchiato is an espresso topped with steamed milk.
Rehab’d Vintage in Chicago
By Tamarah Webb | May 14, 2014, 6:35 p.m.
The night before the fashion show, Dionna Nicole was at home examining a puffy sleeved tan dress. “I’ll take this one!” said Nicole when she placed the little dress on the counter of a vintage boutique in her hometown of Columbus, Ohio, earlier that day. Nicole got the dress home knowing it would make the perfect outfit when she attended the show the following day.
As she looked it over, she soon realized a little TLC would do her new purchase some good. Getting to work, Nicole cut, hemmed, and glued buttons down the front of the dress.
“Oh my God, your dress is so cute,” said a student when Nicole arrived at the International Academy of Design and Technology show of 2010. It wasn’t the first time 26-year-old Nicole had received praise for one of her designs. After a fashion find and rehab ritual, admirers often asked, “Oh my, what is this?” and “Let me get that!”
Nicole has since relocated to Chicago where her edgy eclectic mixes of designs will appear in the spring issue of Level Up magazine. “It is my first time in print,” 30-year-old Nicole said. Inspired by the 80’s and 90’s, Nicole’s clothes are vintage but with a 2014 flare. “I try to keep it current, so you don’t look like you just stepped out of the Cosby Show,” explains Nicole.
Titling her collection the Rehab’d Vintage Boutique, Nicole uses messages that suggest drug addiction like “dope” and “crack” to describe her pieces. “My slogan is ‘become a druggie for dope fashion,’” she said. Nicole describes her customers as junkies for fashion as they come back for their fix. “We believe in providing dope fashion for the fashion-forward customer and the true fashion addicts,” Nicole said with a smile.
In Level Up’s 2014 Fall fashion show, Nicole was the feature designer and stylist. Covering two segments of the show required two different looks per model. Japanese street fashion and an urban wasteland theme had Nicole fashioning18 looks for nine models she was working with.
As the fashion show began, hair was in place, outfits buttoned right and snapped, shoes down to match, check-check-check. Hot pink-lipped models saunter onto the stage wearing Japanese catwalk fashion.
A mix of current and traditional trends accompanies yellow, green and pink buns of hair. Popping reds, umbrella pants, polka dots and washed denim showcase Japanese street fashion.
Prior to its appearance in the Level Up fashion show; Nicole did a photo shoot of the urban wasteland theme. The shoot gives a sneak peek preview to what is to be seen in Level Up’s spring issue. “We went to a compost yard, it was hot, and we were out in the heat,” said Nicole. The industrialized theme will appear on the spring cover of Level Upalong with a feature spread of Nicole’s line.
Trendsetting can start at a young age. During Nicole’s freshman year at IADT, students in the fashion industry encouraged her to start a business. “‘Oh, I got to get that,’ they would say, and when they showed appreciation for my work I was sure other people would too,” she recalls. Soon Nicole was busy setting-up her Tumblr page, The Crack House, to showcase her portfolio of over 500 pieces.
Nicole was initially introduced to vintage fashion and rehabbing in 2008 by her boyfriend, Gabriel Robinson. A year into the vintage style, Robinson had his own thing going. In an O.G. snapback, Adidas windbreaker and Nike Air Maestro’s, Robinson, who lives in Nicole’s hometown, took Nicole out to experience shopping through thrift. “I took her to the Ohio Thrift Store. She didn’t find anything to her liking,” recalls Robinson.
It wasn’t until he visited her in Chicago, the following year, that Nicole caught the bug for thrifting. “Nicole came across a ¾ length white and blue polka dot dress, which she ended up hemming to her mid-thigh,” he said.
That winter, an exchange of business cards with collaborators at Indie Media led to the first photo shoot and YouTube debut of Rehab’d Vintage designs. “It was my step into broadening my horizon,” Nicole said as she reminisced.
In the December 2013 YouTube photo shoot, Katy Perry’s song, “Part of Me,” rocked in the background as Indie models, videographers and photographers entered a large white room fashioned by exposed gray brick. Magazine and newspaper pages were plastered to two adjacent walls while a 70’s lime green chair and grand piano accented the two others. “I remember them being blown away,” said Nicole, after explaining how much work she put into the location’s appeal.
It’s important for Nicole to bring a friend when shopping for vintage clothing. Barbara
Audiences of college students and families attend Rehab’d Vintage shows. “She mixes and patches patterns together, and it all works out,” said Robinson. “You’ll be like ‘Wow,’” said
This June Rehab’d Vintage Boutique is hitting the Chicago roads in a step-van. Nicole takes to the busy Wicker Park and Roscoe Village streets in search of new additions to her current collection of over 1,000 pieces. The Salvation Army and Village Discount Outlet better watch out; Nicole is on a move.
Vets fighting hunger in America
By Tamarah Webb
There is a new struggling society that many Americans don’t know about. This society not only must battle issues of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and the amputation of limbs, but this society is fighting the demon of hunger. An agency known as Feed Our Vets recognizes the existence of military veterans and their fight with hunger. Feed Our Vets works as a food pantry that also assists the families of veterans and national hunger problems in the United States.
Food distribution to vets and their families — struggling to make ends meet — is the prime focus of Feed Our Vets. This issue is also being recognized by the Greater Chicago Food Depository, and on a larger scale, through corporations such as Feeding America.
According to Bill Morgan — department director of the Feed Our Vets agency based in New York — the problem of men and women returning home from tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, to retire, but then having to fight on the battlefield of hunger. The struggles of our U.S. military veterans dealing with hunger is under the radar; “even though vets make up 30 percent of homeless and hungry in the United States, and these rates are continuing to grow,” said Morgan.
Veterans go through a significant adjustment period after fighting overseas then reconnecting with their families. Many vets have a hard time finding work, and therefore supporting their families. “Many times, vets have enough for the first 2-3 weeks of the month; they pay bills and don’t have money for the last weeks of the month,” said Morgan.
Every night, nearly 1,000 soldiers, sailors, marines, and seamen become new U.S. veterans. More than 130,000 vets are hungry and homeless any given night and nearly 1.5 million are at risk of becoming homeless and going hungry, according to Feed Our Vets website.
The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) provides patient care and federal benefits to veterans and their families. Currently, VA offices are focused on veteran hunger problems and have developed plans to dramatically decrease hunger by 2015.
Also focusing on decreasing hunger is Amy Satoh — manager of social policy research analysis at Feeding America headquarters. Satoh said Feeding America is keeping track of veteran statuses and conditions concerning hunger that exists. “We are asking about veteran status and current military status because that was something our food banks were reporting to us,” said Satoh, “if you look at the pay scale for military families, it’s generally not very good, they are moving every two years and they don’t have a family network they can go to.”
According to Satoh, Feeding America doesn’t give aid to specific hunger groups because it is an organization that doesn’t discriminate.
Therefore Feed Our Vets isn’t offered direct aid from Feeding America.
Still, Satoh explained, Feeding America’s method of distribution doesn’t exclude any military veterans and their families who come in need of food.
The Greater Chicago Food Depository — member food bank of Feeding America and distribution center of Cook County Chicago — has also increased response to issues of veteran hunger, said Jim Conwell — Communications
According to Conwell, joining forces with Chicago-area veteran centers — Hines Edward Jr. VA Hospital and Jesse Brown VA Medical Center —the Greater Chicago Food Depository has participated in programs such as Veterans Stand Down — an event focused on supporting hundreds of homeless and hungry vets in the Chicago-area.
“We aren’t just looking to keep up with the need, we are looking to end hunger,” said Conwell.
According to the VA website, Veteran Stand Down programs provide resources and services — such as meals, medical assistance, dental
The self-proclaimed primary goal of the Food Depository is to, “ensure adequate supply, deliver and access to healthy food options for all people in need.”
To understand how food gets to Americans in need, Ross Fraser — Feeding America’s director of media relations — said Feeding America supplies food to a network of 200 food bank offices throughout the United States — this including the Greater Chicago Food Depository — and is self-described as the “largest domestic hunger-relief charity in the nation.
The distribution of food from donors to the 37 million hungry Americans is an extensive process that takes careful planning and management. “All we care about is getting food to hungry people,” said Fraser, and Feeding America’s growth in donations from 300 million-800 million pounds of produce since 2004 shows it.
The traditional way of distributing food is through a type of agency known as a food pantry. Usually located in church basements, these agencies require hungry Americans to commute in order to receive assistance; this is difficult when approximately 40 percent of these Americans don’t have a vehicle, Fraser said.
Feed Our Vets pantries are run by volunteers who supply food that has been donated from vendors and grocers with unsalable goods. According to Morgan, Feed Our Vets also uses monetary contributions to purchase goods in bulk for distribution.
The support of Wal-Mart has been a huge operation for Feeding America representatives, said Fraser. Wal-Mart just reached its billion pound mark of donated goods to Feeding America. The superstore not only takes goods off their store shelves but also has aired PSAs to spread awareness of the Feeding America organization. Fox Sports just took Feeding America on as a cause, and will also begin running PSAs for the organization.