Food Act: Fresh Burden Of Rs 2,200 Crore Worries West Bengal

People wait in line for the doors to open at the Northside Common Ministries, 1601 Brighton Road on the North Side. The ministry is holding more food drives in anticipation of the holidays and more people needing its services because other pantries are shutting down.

Anyone with interest can contact Northside Common Ministries executive director Jay Poliziani at j.poliziani@ncmin.org . “We realize they have a need 12 months a year and that the need is growing,” said Darlene Durrwachter Rushing, the advisory group’s volunteer coordinator. “We are just a neighborhood gathering of folks right now, saying we don’t want any of our neighbors going hungry. “Our resources are our brain power and our connections in addition to labor, food and monetary donations. We want to harness our resources and put them to work.” Several neighbors are organizing food drives through their businesses in anticipation of the upcoming holidays, she said. More than a dozen small North Side nonprofits distribute food bank supplies one day a month, but the food pantry at Northside Common Ministries, 1601 Brighton Road, is open three days every week and distributes food to about 1,000 people a month. It is one of the largest recipients of the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. The food pantry is open to serve and accept donations from 9 a.m. to noon Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Mr. Poliziani said 80 percent of the pantry’s inventory comes from the Food Bank, “and each year [client] demand increases around the holidays by 30 to 40 percent. Churches and community groups kick in more in the fall, but it’s still not enough to cover demand. We will depend on food drives and donations.” “We’re thrilled” about the advisory group, he said. “It’s full of talented people who will be able to help us sustain.” The Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank’s closures — including the Pressley Street Hi-Rise Food Pantry on the North Side — were based on its own budget cuts and the decision to reallocate some supplies to underserved rural areas, said Lisa Scales, the food bank’s CEO.

But when it comes to food, Afghanistan has plenty of flavorful dishes to offer. The country is known for its variety of kebabs and pulao rice cooked with meat, chicken, or vegetables. In the Bamiyan region, the main bazaar in Shahr-e Nau, has a good variety of food vendors offering traditional cuisine such as kebabs, pulao, and the beef and bean soup shorwa. 7. Iraq Though the Iraq war that started in 2003 has officially ended, the U.S Department of State reports that some violence and threats against U.S. citizens persist, and U.S. citizens visiting Iraq are still at risk for kidnapping. Still, if visiting Iraq, the cuisine is definitely worth trying. Strongly influenced by the cuisine in neighboring countries Iran and Turkey, common foods in Iraq are beef and lamb dishes, such as kebabs, as well as stuffed vegetables, and filo-dough pastries. Iraqi Touch in the city Erbil serves homemade Iraqi food in a “unique and modern environment” showcasing the best of Iraq’s classic cuisine with menu items such as beef borek ground beef stuffed in filo dough and different gravies served with rice, such as curry potato gravy. 8. Venezuela Venezuela might have a bad reputation as one of the top five of countries in the world with a high murder rate, with 21,692 homicides reported in 2012.

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“Our interest outgo is huge around Rs ****** crore every month. Since that is eating up the state’s coffers, we had asked for a moratorium for the state. With the new financial burden in place, it is not possible for us to bear it further,” said a state finance department official. “The proposed bill will cripple finances and increase deficits for the cash-strapped state, already reeling under the financial crunch, said the official. Meanwhile, state’s food and supplies secretary Anil Verma will talk to the is likely to meet food secretaries of other states on Monday to set the agenda for the ministers’ conference. The states were given have been provided a year for the implementation of the act ensuring heavily-subsidized food grains for about 82 crore people in the country. Some states like Haryana, Himachal Pradesh , Rajasthan, Uttranchal, Mizoram and Delhi have already started implementing the act. The act will cover about 75% and 50% per cent of rural and urban population respectively under the targeted public distribution scheme as a single category, with uniform entitlement of 5 kg per person per month. They will get rice, wheat and coarse grains at the rates of Rs 3, 2 and1 per kg respectively. The Bengal government is already providing rice at Rs 2 per kg in the Maoist-affected Jangalmahal area. “Even if you take out Rs 500 crore, which we have to provide for the subsidized rice in Jangalmahal, it comes to around Rs 1,700 crore. Under the present financial condition, the state is not in a position to bear the burden,” said Jyotipriyo Mullick, food and supplies minister of the state. According to the proposal, while the Centre will bear 78% subsidy for implementing food security bill , state government will have to bear 22%. “We are not opposing food at a subsidized rate, but state finances are not in a position to bear the additional burden,” Mullick added.