2020, Reviewed: This Year In Numbers

From coronavirus cases to election week vote tallies, numbers overwhelmed 2020. Here are the numbers that defined this year.

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.

Recipes for a Boozy Election Night

Have you cried recently? You hear the hate on the radio, see it on the TV and it builds and builds inside until something breaks. It starts with a knot in the back of your throat but quickly grows into something bigger, wanting to spill out from where it has been kept safe. “Wake up!” I scream in my head. “This is really happening, so get used to it.” This is no time to get down and stay depressed or let your anxiety overcome your will to work and live.

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.

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.

Patriotic Meals: Food as a Stepping-Stone Towards Liberation

Every Fourth of July, Americans are bombarded with advertisements about red and white products — it almost feels patriotic to spend money. Oftentimes, these companies advertise food sales — five dollar watermelon or hot dogs on a stars-and-stripes background — and imply that these items have some inherent patriotic identity. All-American men eat meat, a  Costco ad might urge you. Most of us don’t truly believe that we are performing our civic duty when we buy a hot dog; however, there was a time in American history when one’s diet was directly tied to their love and devotion — or lack thereof — to America. To understand American patriotism as it relates to food, we must go back to British Colonialism in the early 1600s.

CHANG | Platform Complacency Will Prove Fatal For Democrats In 2020

The 2018 Midterm was serious business. Cornell has been a roaring fire of political intensity for the last two weeks. Opinion columnists (I’m sure you can guess the specific ones) have been yelling all night. More of my friends voted than I thought possible, although some Cornellians — either disillusioned with the political process (fine, but a weak excuse) or simply disinterested (c’mon) — never filled out a ballot. Although we probably won’t get a true break from electioneering until after the 2020 race, I’ll be content with clearing my inbox of daily asks for campaign donations and “shockingly new analysis” from pollsters and Nate Silver himself.