An Immigrant Thanksgiving

A Salvadoran-American Perspective

For the first time in almost four years, many Americans feel tentatively proud of their country. Tireless encouragement to vote has helped prove that community support can unite a country divided and reestablish American values of truth, integrity and respect. As such, it seemed appropriate to take a look at the new meanings Thanksgiving may hold this year; Samai Navas, a recent Salvadoran-American immigrant and close family friend, shares what her All (Salvadoran) American Thanksgiving has come to represent over the years. 

It’s worth noting that the typical modern Thanksgiving symbolizes and commemorates an ideal that only existed for a very short time. While there is some truth behind the story of a peaceful feast between European settlers and the Wampanoag people in 1621, this calm did not last. Between the years of 1630 and 1642, plague tore through Native communities, resulting in the death of more than half of all Native Americans living at the time.

Food Stamps: On the Ballot and On Campus

More often than not, I find that discussions of food insecurity that occur on campus focus almost exclusively on off-campus communities. We discuss in depth data regarding Ithaca, Tompkins County and the nation as a whole. We discuss the implications of the recent election on food insecurity and access to food stamps without acknowledging the peers in class next to us that rely on these same assistance programs.

Many low-income college students were among the nearly 700,000 people projected to lose their SNAP benefits as a result of the new work requirements announced nearly a year ago by the Trump administration. This rule explicitly targets “able-bodied adults without dependents,” a category most college students fit into. As a population that is already purposely excluded from receiving SNAP benefits in a wide variety of cases, this rule, if enacted, could further stymie the access of college students to a well-needed resource.

Food Stamps on the Ballot: What Does This Election Mean for Those Facing Food Insecurity During the Pandemic?

As the U.S. faces a third wave of coronavirus cases and some cities and states prepare for another round of shutdowns, thousands of households are continuing to face economic hardship and food insecurity. Earlier this year, the Trump administration finalized a proposed rule change that would have blocked nearly 700,000 people from getting essential food assistance, one of three of the administration’s efforts to overhaul the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). 
The new rule would have affected the eligibility criteria for able-bodied adults with no dependents, limiting states’ ability to waive existing work mandates and requiring individuals to be employed to receive benefits. It was struck down last week by a federal judge after Pennsylvania and California residents sued Trump’s Agricultural Department. Critics say that this proposal is yet another attempt by the Trump administration to continue its deregulatory war on existing safety net programs, even as businesses struggle and the number of newly unemployed households remains high as a result of the pandemic. “The Final Rule at issue in this litigation radically and abruptly alters decades of regulatory practice, leaving States scrambling and exponentially increasing food insecurity for tens of thousands of Americans,” explained D.C Chief U.S. District Judge Beryl A. Howell, in a 67-page opinion.

Why Urban America Can’t Forget Its Farmers

Why do agricultural issues matter to young cosmopolites attending an Ivy League institution and who quite possibly are from a family in the top one percent? Besides being consistently ranked as one of the top agricultural schools in the country and the world, Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences conducts an enormous amount of research and outreach to help end food insecurity, combat climate change and, most recently, protect food production workers against COVID-19; just check out the litany of innovations here. Cornell is in a unique position to conduct its research; unlike many of its peers, it’s role as a land-grant institution informs its involvement in communities surrounding it. 43 percent of the counties in the Southern Tier are classified as rural. If you include upstate micropolities, such as Corning and Cortland, as semi-rural, that figure jumps to 57 percent.

Comfort Foods for When You’re Terrified for the Future of Our Country and the Upcoming Election

The phrase Presidential Debate has become synonymous with “petty shouting match.” Ballot deadlines were extended and then revoked. Some Americans still haven’t received their absentee ballots, while others report “faulty” ballots that don’t list any presidential candidates at all. Everywhere we turn, it seems that there is new election news to lament and almost no way of letting out this stress while locked at home. The week before one of the most important elections of our lifetimes, Americans have never needed comfort food more. 
Logically, we all know that a bowl of chicken soup or mac and cheese can’t actually solve any of the turmoil our country is currently going through. A bag of crunchy, salty chips won’t do the trick either, yet we still turn to these familiar foods to support us emotionally when everything seems like it’s a bit too much to handle.

The Past, Present and Future of Halloween

Normally around this time of year, Americans would be gearing up for a night of chaperoning younger siblings around town, eating excessive amounts of chocolate and buying out the clearance candy from CVS on November 1st. I don’t really have to point out why things are a bit different this year. 
The night of October 31, 2020 will be one filled with college students sitting pathetically in their rooms, accompanied only by a pile of empty candy wrappers and too much free time. As such, take a moment with me to remember better times: Look at how Halloween developed into the modern holiday we know and love, and catch a glimpse into what it may be like in years to come. 
Between all of the holidays taking place around October 31 — El día de muertos, Halloween, All Souls Day —  it can get confusing to trace down where one holiday ends and the other begins. Though all three of these holidays have interconnected roots, most scholars agree that Halloween’s past is connected to a combination of ancient Celtic and Christian traditions. 
More than 2,000 years ago, when the Celts lived in modern day Ireland, the feast of Samhain (pronounced sow-win) marked the end of the harvest season as the community began preparations for the coming winter months. The symbolic “death” of a season and the reaping of crops prompted feasts and celebration, but also indicated that the space between the dead and the living was thinner than ever.

Three Must-Get Fall Flavored Treats

With fall’s arrival, there’s nothing more exciting than looking at new seasonal treats. It’s always been a joy for me to look at the innovative additions to restaurants’ and cafes’ temporary seasonal menu. So, I decided to visit local eateries and try out some of their seasonal items, focusing on pumpkin and apple. Collegetown Bagels — Pumpkin Bar
Starting off with this iconic treat, the pumpkin bar is a three layered dessert bar with a graham cracker base, cream cheese frosting in the middle and a layer of pumpkin spice cream cheese topped with whipped cream. The pumpkin bar looks nothing but delicious and offers a great variety of flavor.

Trick-or-Treating in 2020? How to Avoid the Scares of a COVID-19 Halloween

Spooky season is officially upon us. It seems that out of nowhere the pumpkin spice lattes are being sipped, and fall foliage is blanketing campus. With Oct. 31 just around the corner, now is the time to start coordinating the perfect Tiger King inspired Joe exotic costume, or maybe keep things simple by repping your favorite team’s jersey. Tentatively, we purchase our costumes with one question in mind: Are Halloween festivities going to fall victim to the pandemic as we have seen with other holidays this year?

2 Stay 2 Go: A Student Success Story

Opening a restaurant in the middle of a global pandemic is crazy, and critics would say it’s impossible. Sitting inside of 2 Stay 2 Go during the soft opening just proves otherwise. Food is about bringing people together — something that’s been lacking in this technological, socially-distanced age. Most of us are spending all day in our apartments or dorms, staring at screens and lamenting the good old days when we used to be face-to-face and not mask-to-mask. The opening of a new Collegetown restaurant is exactly what students needed to pull them out of their hovels.

AppleFest 2020: Maintaining Tradition Through It All

AppleFest, an Ithaca tradition, looked slightly different this year. Usually, the event boasts about 200 vendors with carnival games and every sort of apple-flavored treat imaginable. This year the event drastically reduced its capacity to reduce risk of COVID-19 transmission and spread. Instead of the normal massive festival, Downtown Ithaca organized an “Apple and Cider Trail” as well as a small open air market. The trail directed attendees to different participating local businesses who were selling apple themed foods, drinks and gifts.