Food Corruption News ArticlesExcerpts of Key Food Corruption News Articles in Media
The federal government paid $11.3 million in taxpayer-funded farm subsidies from 1995 to 2012 to 50 billionaires or businesses in which they have some form of ownership, according to a report released [on November 7] by the Environmental Working Group, a Washington-based research organization. The billionaires who received the subsidies or owned companies that did include the Microsoft co-founder Paul G. Allen; the investment titan Charles Schwab; and S. Truett Cathy, owner of Chick-fil-A. The billionaires who got the subsidies have a collective net worth of $316 billion, according to Forbes magazine. The Working Group said its findings were likely to underestimate the total farm subsidies that went to the billionaires on the Forbes 400 list because many of them also received crop insurance subsidies. The authors of the report said it is timely, given that lawmakers are debating a House proposal that would cut nearly $40 billion over 10 years from the food stamp program, which helps provide food for nearly 47 million people. A Senate provision would cut $4.5 billion over the same period. A report released [on November 6] by the Center for American Progress ... found that food stamps kept about five million people above the poverty line last year. The food stamp program was cut by about $5 billion on Nov. 1 when a provision in the 2009 stimulus bill that added funding for the program expired. “The irony is that farm subsidies are going to billionaires at the same time that there are proposals to kick three to five million people off of food stamps,” said Scott Faber, vice president for government affairs at the Environmental Working Group.
Note: For more on government corruption, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Want to ensure that miracle drugs can no longer perform miracles? Then do what some physicians and industrial livestock farmers have done for years: Overprescribe antibiotics to people, and use them cavalierly in farm animals to promote growth or prevent infections before they even occur. Last month, federal officials quantified that danger: At least 23,000 people die from antibiotic-resistant bacteria each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which said that's a conservative figure. For more than four decades, scientists and government health agencies have warned about the danger this poses for development of drug-resistant bugs. Yet last week, the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future reported that little progress has been made on limiting the use of antibiotics on farms. The agriculture industry maintains that the connection is murky between antibiotic use in animals and drug resistance in people. On the other side of the debate is a long list of scientists, public health officials and veterinarians whose views carry more sense and less self-interest. In 2011 alone, 1.9 million pounds of penicillins and 12.3 million pounds of tetracyclines were sold for use in food animals. It's hard to believe that wouldn't have an effect. According to the CDC, humans can pick up drug-resistant bugs through contact with animals or by eating contaminated food. But neither Congress nor the FDA has acted to curtail the broad dangers. The well-financed agriculture industry has won most rounds. And regulators have dragged their feet.
Note: For more on important health issues, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.
Widely used pesticides have been found in new research to block a part of the brain that bees use for learning, rendering some of them unable to perform the essential task of associating scents with food. Bees exposed to two kinds of pesticide were slower to learn or completely forgot links between floral scents and nectar. These effects could make it harder for bees to forage among flowers for food, thereby threatening their survival and reducing the pollination of crops and wild plants. The findings add to existing research that neonicotinoid pesticides are contributing to the decline in bee populations. The new findings on the effect of pesticides on bee brains showed that within 20 minutes of exposure to neonicotinoids the neurons in the major learning centre of the brain stopped firing. Christopher Connolly at the University of Dundee, who led the peer-reviewed work published in the online journal Nature Communications, said it was the first to show the pesticides had a direct impact on pollinator brain physiology. A parallel peer-reviewed study on the behaviour of bees subjected to the same insecticides found the bees were slower to learn or completely forgot important associations between floral scent and food rewards. "Disruption in this important function has profound implications for honeybee colony survival, because bees that cannot learn will not be able to find food," said Dr Geraldine Wright, at Newcastle University, who led the work.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on GMOs, click here.
Whole Foods Market, the grocery chain, on [March 8] became the first retailer in the United States to require labeling [by 2018] of all genetically modified foods sold in its stores, a move that some experts said could radically alter the food industry. The announcement ricocheted around the food industry and excited proponents of labeling. “Fantastic,” said Mark Kastel, co-director of the Cornucopia Institute, an organic advocacy group that favors labeling. The Grocery Manufacturers Association, the trade group that represents major food companies and retailers, issued a statement opposing the move. The labeling requirements announced by Whole Foods will include its 339 stores in the United States and Canada. Since labeling is already required in the European Union, products in its seven stores in Britain are already marked if they contain genetically modified ingredients. The labels currently used show that a product has been verified as free of genetically engineered ingredients by the Non GMO Project, a nonprofit certification organization. Gary Hirshberg, chairman of Just Label It, a campaign for a federal requirement to label foods containing genetically modified ingredients, called the Whole Foods decision a “game changer.” He compared the potential impact of the Whole Foods announcement to Wal-Mart’s decision several years ago to stop selling milk from cows treated with growth hormone. Today, only a small number of milk cows are injected with the hormone.
Note: For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on GMO labeling and the dangers posed by GMO foods, click here.
In November, voters will decide whether to make California the first state in the nation to require labels on most genetically modified food products. At least 18 states, including California, have tried to pass similar laws through their legislatures and failed. This time, however, the measure made it to the statewide ballot with 1 million citizen signatures; recent polls show Proposition 37 winning by a significant margin. Food activists across the country are watching the California battle closely, with opponents of genetic modification hoping to make the proposition a model for other states. Supporters of the law, including organic trade groups and environmentalists, say consumers have a right to know if the food they're eating contains genetically modified material - particularly when the long-term health effects are unclear. Seventy percent to 80 percent of processed foods sold in the U.S. are made with genetically engineered ingredients, including corn, soybeans, sugar beets and cotton oil. If the California measure passes, processed genetically engineered food products would include the words "Partially produced with genetic engineering" on the front or back label. For whole foods such as sweet corn or salmon, grocers would be required to have a sign on the shelf. Alcohol, most meat, eggs and dairy products would be exempt. Jeffrey Smith, the executive director of the Institute for Responsible Technology based in Iowa, said "Based on the evidence - damage to virtually every organ evaluated and immune and gastrointestinal problems - labels are needed."
Note: If you read this entire article, you will detect a clear bias against GMO labelling. It quotes a UCLA professor stating, "There is not one credible scientist working on this that would call it unsafe." Yet the article fails to mention the many scientists who have provided solid evidence that GMOs are unsafe. For a powerful essay showing the grave risks and dangers of GMOs, click here. For a New York Times article listing several scientists who raised serious questions about GMOs, click here. For deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources on genetically modified foods, click here.
Pennsylvania Amish farmer Dan Allgyer has become a cause celebre for raw milk drinkers as the target of a Food and Drug Administration campaign - using sting operations and guns-drawn raids usually reserved for terrorists and drug lords - to eliminate unpasteurized milk. Such milk, also known as raw or fresh milk, is legal in California and considered essential to Europe's finest cheeses, creams and butters. Allgyer is the latest to feel the force of a yearslong Food and Drug Administration campaign against raw milk that has focused on tiny farms and consumer co-ops. Raw milk drinkers say cooking milk diminishes its flavor and nutrients. They said similar sterilization standards, if applied across the American diet, would ban sushi, medium-rare steaks, oysters on the shell and most raw fruits and vegetables. The Food Safety and Modernization Act approved by Congress last year and signed by President Obama in January has vastly enhanced the agency's powers. Starting July 3, the agency can confiscate any food at any farm that it deems unsafe or mislabeled. Throughout Europe, uncooked milk is the norm, dispensed in vending machines in Switzerland, Austria, France, Italy, Slovenia and the Netherlands. It is healthy, adherents say, because it contains fat that is not broken down by homogenization and is free of antibiotics and hormones, because cows are raised in small herds on pastures.
Like others in the so-called good-food movement, [Will] Allen, who is 60, asserts that our industrial food system is depleting soil, poisoning water, gobbling fossil fuels and stuffing us with bad calories. Like others, he advocates eating locally grown food. But to Allen, local doesn't mean a rolling pasture or even a suburban garden: it means 14 greenhouses crammed onto two acres in a working-class neighborhood on Milwaukee's northwest side, less than half a mile from the city's largest public-housing project. And this is why Allen is so fond of his worms. When you're producing a quarter of a million dollars' worth of food in such a small space, soil fertility is everything. Without microbe- and nutrient-rich worm castings (poop, that is), Allen's Growing Power farm couldn't provide healthful food to 10,000 urbanites — through his on-farm retail store, in schools and restaurants, at farmers' markets and in low-cost market baskets delivered to neighborhood pickup points. He couldn't employ scores of people, some from the nearby housing project; continually train farmers in intensive polyculture; or convert millions of pounds of food waste into a version of black gold. With seeds planted at quadruple density and nearly every inch of space maximized to generate exceptional bounty, Growing Power is an agricultural Mumbai, a supercity of upward-thrusting tendrils and duct-taped infrastructure.
Note: For another excellent article on this most amazing man and the urban farming movement, click here.
Last fall, at a business lunch with co-workers, Grace Booth enjoyed three chicken enchiladas. The food, she recalls, was very good — but then something went very wrong. "I thought, oh my God, what is happening to me? I felt like I was going to die." In the emergency room in nearby Oakland the diagnosis was severe allergic reaction and from here Grace Booth's story reached officials in Washington. At the time the national corn market was in an uproar. Starlink, a gene modified corn not approved for human food, had been found in taco shells and recalls were emptying the shelves of corn products. The fear was possible allergic reactions. At that moment, Booth says, she had no idea that the corn tortillas in her lunch were about to be recalled. In the wake of the recalls more than 50 Americans, including Booth, claimed they had reactions to Starlink corn. That forced the government to launch the first full-scale allergy investigation in the history of biotech food. It has taken months, but the Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration have collected food samples and blood from two dozen people whose cases were believed most serious. [Symptoms] "[v]aried from just abdominal pain and diarrhea [or] skin rashes to some patients ... having very severe life-threatening reactions," said Dr. Marc Rothenberg, the allergy chief at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. He is an adviser to the government in the Starlink investigation. Its slow going he says because investigators first had to find the Starlink protein and then invent a blood test.
Note: The date of this article is May 17, 2001, though on the webpage itself a different date is listed. With so many examples of allergic reactions and more to GM foods, why does the FDA continue to insist that these foods are safe? Could it be because many top leaders at the FDA once worked at Monsanto?
Early findings from the most comprehensive large study ever undertaken of the relationship between diet and the risk of developing disease are challenging much of American dietary dogma. The study, being conducted in China, paints a bold portrait of a plant-based eating plan that is more likely to promote health than disease. Among the first tantalizing findings are these: Obesity is related more to what people eat than how much. Adjusted for height, the Chinese consume 20 percent more calories than Americans do, but Americans are 25 percent fatter. The main dietary differences are fat and starch. The Chinese eat only a third the amount of fat Americans do, while eating twice the starch. The body readily stores fat but expends a larger proportion of the carbohydrates consumed as heat. Some of the differences may be attributable to exercise. Reducing dietary fat to less than 30 percent of calories, as is currently recommended for Americans, may not be enough to curb the risk of heart disease and cancer. To make a significant impact, the Chinese data imply, a maximum of 20 percent of calories from fat - and preferably only 10 to 15 percent - should be consumed. Eating a lot of protein, especially animal protein, is also linked to chronic disease. Americans consume a third more protein than the Chinese do, and 70 percent of American protein comes from animals, while only 7 percent of Chinese protein does. Those Chinese who eat the most protein, and especially the most animal protein, also have the highest rates of the ''diseases of affluence'' like heart disease, cancer and diabetes.
German conglomerate Bayer on Thursday closed its $63 billion merger with Monsanto after getting the required nod from U.S. and EU regulators. The closing sets the stage for the ... brand name "Monsanto" to be dropped by Bayer. Monsanto's agricultural biotechnology research and development operations that are going to Bayer are the largest in the world. "The entire business is essentially going over to Bayer intact," said ... analyst Seth Goldstein. "Taking away the Monsanto name is more of a branding. It should allow for easier PR for Bayer." The annual Harris Poll of corporate reputation ratings among America's "100 most visible companies" has regularly shown Monsanto rank toward the lower end of the list. Monsanto ranked 97 on the list of 100 companies in 2017 and survey results this year put it at 95. Monsanto has spent upwards of $100 million in some years on advertising costs. Some of the corporate efforts have been in direct response to social media attacks ... against genetically modified organisms. Monsanto also has faced protests over the American company's Roundup herbicide product containing glyphosate. The International Agency for Research on Cancer classified glyphosate as "probably carcinogenic" back in 2015. "It's not a surprise Bayer is dropping the Monsanto name since the brand has so many issues and there was international rejection of GMOs," said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety.
Note: Monsanto has become the target of a negative publicity campaign for very good reasons because of it's huge support of GMOs and RoundUp. Now, Bayer is hoping to erase this negative image, yet they are far from a responsible company. See this post documenting how Bayer collaborated with the Nazis to kill Jews and much more. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in the corporate world and in the food system.
The European Union has made a key breakthrough to completely ban pesticides that harm bees and their crop pollination. The 28 member states got a large majority backing the ban on the three prevalent neonicotinoid pesticides which will take effect at the end of the year. The decision builds on a limited ban which has been in effect since 2013. Antonia Staats of the Avaaz campaign group on Friday called it a “beacon of hope for bees. Finally our governments are listening.” Over the past several years, there’s been an alarming drop in bee populations and there were fears it would start to seriously affect crop production since bees are necessary for the spread of pollen and reproduction.
Note: Neonicotinoid pesticides have been found to negatively impact bee reproduction. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on food system corruption and health.
Shocking hygiene failings have been discovered in some of the US’s biggest meat plants, as a new analysis reveals that as many as 15% (one in seven) of the US population suffers from foodborne illnesses annually. A joint investigation by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ) and the Guardian found that hygiene incidents are at numbers that experts described as “deeply worrying”. US campaigners are calling once again for the closure of a legal loophole that allows meat with salmonella to be sold in the human supply chain, and also warn about the industry’s push to speed up production in the country’s meat plants. Unpublished US- government records highlight numerous specific incidents including: Diseased poultry meat that had been condemned found in containers used to hold edible food products; Pig carcasses piling up on the factory floor after an equipment breakdown, leading to contamination with grease, blood and other filth; Meat destined for the human food chain found riddled with faecal matter and abscesses filled with pus; High-power hoses being used to clean dirty floors next to working production lines containing food products; Factory floors flooded with dirty water after drains became blocked by meat parts and other debris; Dirty chicken, soiled with faeces or having been dropped on the floor, being put back on to the production line after being rinsed with dilute chlorine.
Note: Read more on the unsafe and unethical high speed slaughterhouses on track for USDA approval. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing food system corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
A US court will today hear a request from Monsanto for access to a huge batch of internal communications by Avaaz, in a move that the campaign group says could have grave repercussions for online activism and data privacy. Monsanto is seeking the release of all lobby documents ... where the firm or its herbicide ingredient glyphosate have been mentioned. Avaaz says this would include personal information about its employees, as well as the email addresses of more than four million signatories to petitions against Monsanto’s GM and glyphosate policies. A victory for Monsanto in today’s hearing would cost the online advocacy group thousands of person-hours of work time, and hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to Avaaz’s lawyers. It could even raise the prospect of a migration out of online activism by campaigners concerned about corporate surveillance. Monsanto’s [request] demands all documents Avaaz employees have created, maintained, received, sent or copied, where these involve discussion about glyphosate, Monsanto, or the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer, which found glyphosate to probably be carcinogenic. Monsanto filed its request shortly after a bitter EU regulatory battle ended with its license for glyphosate – the core ingredient in Roundup – being extended by just five years, rather than the 15 years originally sought.
Note: Read more on Avaaz and the power of online activism. Major lawsuits are beginning to unfold over Monsanto's lies to regulators and the public on the dangers of its products, most notably Roundup. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corporate corruption and health.
More than four decades ago, a study in rats funded by the sugar industry found evidence linking the sweetener to heart disease and bladder cancer. The results of that study were never made public. Instead, the sugar industry pulled the plug on the study and buried the evidence, said senior researcher Stanton Glantz, a professor of medicine and director of the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education. Glantz likened this to suppressed Big Tobacco internal research linking smoking with heart disease and cancer. "This was an experiment that produced evidence that contradicted the scientific position of the sugar industry," Glantz said. "It certainly would have contributed to increasing our understanding of the cardiovascular risk associated with eating a lot of sugar, and they didn't want that." Researchers at the University of Birmingham in England conducted Project 259 between 1967 and 1971, comparing how lab rats fared when fed table sugar versus starch. The scientists specifically looked at how gut bacteria processed the two different forms of carbohydrate. Early results in August 1970 indicated that rats fed a high-sugar diet experienced an increase in blood levels of triglycerides, a type of fat that contributes to cholesterol. Rats fed loads of sugar also appeared to have elevated levels of beta-glucuronidase, an enzyme previously associated with bladder cancer in humans, the researchers said.
Note: Read more about the sugar industry conspiracy. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in the food system and in the scientific community.
There’s the much-criticised battery hen egg, and then the pricier organic and free-range varieties. But for the truly ethically committed, how about the carbon-neutral egg, laid in what has been billed as the world’s most environmentally friendly farm? Dutch stores are now selling so-called “Kipster eggs” laid at a shiny new farm. The intention is to rethink the place of animals in the food chain, according to Ruud Zanders, the poultry farmer and university lecturer behind the farm. Mass-producing farms, even those that have moved on from cages, produce extremely cheap eggs at a heavy cost to the environment and the welfare of the animals laying them. The cost-cutting model is blamed by many for the regular food scares in northern Europe, including the recent enforced destruction of millions of eggs due to contamination by the toxic insecticide fipronil. The organic and free-range varieties, where farmers prioritise the welfare of the chickens, often sell at a higher price – but again at a cost to the wider environment, feeding the chickens expensive imported corn that could be better used to feed people. “It makes no sense for us to be competing with animals for food,” Zanders said. “And 70% of the carbon footprint in eggs is accounted for by the feed for the chickens.” Zanders’s selling point is that his farm has the highest welfare standards – as endorsed by Dutch animal activist group Animals Awake – matched with the lowest possible environmental cost. By using waste food as feed, the farm is ... cutting deeply into its carbon footprint.
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A new scientific study has found "dramatic" and "alarming" declines in insect populations. In German nature reserves, flying insect populations have declined by more than 75% over the duration of the 27-year study. "The flying insect community as a whole... has been decimated over the last few decades," said the study. "Loss of insect diversity and abundance is expected to provoke cascading effects on food webs and to jeopardize ecosystem services." Co-author Caspar Hallman said he and his colleagues were "very, very surprised" by the results. "These are not agricultural areas, these are locations meant to preserve biodiversity, but still we see the insects slipping out of our hands," he told CNN. Entomologists have long had evidence of the decline of individual species, said [researcher] Tanya Latty. However, few studies have taken such a broad view of entire insect populations. Latty says the importance of insects - which make up around 70% of all animal species - is underestimated. "Insects pollinate the crops we eat, they contribute to pest control. They're even crucial in waste control - most of the waste in urban areas is taken care of by ants and cockroaches." Insects, she says, are "crucial" to biodiversity, and "we exist because of biodiversity." Indeed, "ecosystem services provided by wild insects have been estimated at $57 billion annually in the USA," the study says, quoting an earlier study. Some 80% of wild plants rely on insects for pollination; 60% of birds rely on insects as a food source, according to the study.
When researchers collected honey samples from around the world, they found that three-quarters of them had a common type of pesticide suspected of playing a role in the decline of bees. That demonstrates how pervasive a problem the much-debated pesticide is for honeybees, said authors of a study published ... in the journal Science. "What this shows is the magnitude of the contamination," said study lead author Edward Mitchell ... adding that there are "relatively few places where we did not find any." Over the past few years, several studies - in the lab and the field - link insecticides called neonicotinoids ... or neonics, to reduced and weakened honeybee hives. Neonics work by attacking an insect's central nervous system. As part of a citizen science project, the Swiss researchers asked other experts, friends and relatives to ship them honey samples. More than 300 samples arrived and researchers tested 198 of them for five of the most common types of neonics. Overall, 75 percent of the samples had at least one neonic, 45 percent had two or more and 10 percent had four or more. Results varied by region. In North America, 86 percent of samples had the pesticide; Asia, 80 percent; Europe, where there's a partial ban, 79 percent; Africa 73 percent; the Australian region, 71 percent and South America, 57 percent. The study found that nearly half of the honey samples exceeded a level of the pesticide that some previous research said weakens bees.
Note: CNN News reported in 2010 that pesticide manufacturer Bayer covered up the link between its neonicotinoids and massive bee die-offs. Read more about how these pesticides sicken bees and harm food crops. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing food system corruption news articles from reliable major media sources.
The world desperately needs joined-up action on industrial farming if it is to avoid catastrophic impacts. Philip Lymbery, chief executive of Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) and the author of Farmageddon and more recently Deadzone, said: “Every day there is a new confirmation of how destructive, inefficient, wasteful, cruel and unhealthy the industrial agriculture machine is. We need a total rethink of our food and farming systems before it’s too late.” His comments came on the eve of Compassion’s Livestock and Extinction conference in London which will bring together scientists, campaigners, UN representatives and multinational food corporations [to] connect up the many impacts that factory farming has on our planet. Lymbery argues that factory farming is not – as some contend – an efficient, space-saving way to produce the world’s food but rather a method in which the invisible costs are actually far higher than the savings. “Factory farming is shrouded in mythology,” he said. “One of the myths is that it’s an efficient way of producing food when actually it is highly inefficient and wasteful. Antibiotic use is another red flag area. There is now overwhelming evidence that the routine prophylactic use of antibiotics is leading to the rise of antibiotic resistant superbugs, and the World Health Organisation has issued warnings that if we don’t do something to curb antibiotic use in both human and animal medicine we will face a post-antibiotic era where currently treatable diseases will once again kill.”
All slaughterhouses in England will be fitted with compulsory CCTV under plans to be unveiled on Friday by environment secretary Michael Gove, as part of a series of measures to bolster welfare standards and enforce laws against animal cruelty. The government will also raise standards for farm animals and domestic pets by modernising statutory animal welfare codes to reflect enhancements in medicines, technological advances and the latest research and advice from vets. The codes will remain enshrined in law and the first to be updated will cover chickens bred for meat. Animal welfare groups have been calling for compulsory cameras – backed by an independent monitoring system for years, while the Farm Animal Welfare Committee, British Veterinary Association, Food Standards Agency (FSA) and the RSPCA have also all backed slaughterhouse CCTV. Between 2009 and 2016, the animal welfare group Animal Aid secretly filmed inside 11 randomly chosen UK slaughterhouses. Their undercover researchers found clear evidence of cruelty and law-breaking in 10 of those 11. UK supermarkets have also backed compulsory CCTV, with the vast majority now insisting that their suppliers have it.
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Six years ago, Tony Hillery was volunteering at a New York City public school in Harlem. In the lunchroom one day, he met a kindergartner who told him that tomatoes grew in the supermarket. "It was a real conversation, and she was adamant," he recalled. "And then I did an informal poll with the other students, and they agreed. They had no idea what is healthy food or where it comes from." Many students lived at or below the poverty line, he said, and lacked affordable, fresh food. But Hillery was shocked to find that many children couldn't properly identify vegetables. Across the street from the school was an abandoned community garden, and Hillery had an idea. He made a few calls, registered it with the city and turned it into what has become a thriving urban farm. "I got this big patch of dirt in the middle of Harlem, and I had never planted anything prior to then," he said. Today, his nonprofit, Harlem Grown, has 10 urban farms throughout the neighborhood. Hillery and his staff teach children how to grow food from seed to harvest and cook healthy meals using the fruits of their labor. Yet Hillery insists that urban farming is the hook to engage the youth. Then his group further enriches their lives through mentoring and exposure to higher education and possible career paths. "The whole world can come through this little farm," said Hillery, whose programs reach more than 4,000 young people a year. "Poverty is just lack of access. We bring that access and that opportunity here to them."
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