Showing posts with label food security. Show all posts
Showing posts with label food security. Show all posts

Monday, 23 March 2020

The risk of aggressive behaviour in supermarket aisles continues despite attempts to address shelf shortages


On 17 and 18 March 2020 first Woolworths and then Coles implemented a 7am to 8am shopping hour for the elderly and vulnerable.

Later in the day on Tuesday 17 March 2020 this happened at a Coles supermarket.......

Echo NetDaily, 19 March 2020:

About 3.30pm (Tuesday, 17 March, 2020), police received reports a man assaulted multiple people at a supermarket in a shopping centre on Uralba Street, Lismore. 

It is alleged, after becoming agitated when he was unable to find items he wanted to buy, the man pushed his trolley into two women, believed to be aged in their 70s, knocking one to the ground. 

He then allegedly pinned a 45-year-old female store attendant against the shelving and punched her in the face and chest. 

The store manager and a security guard approached the man and were also allegedly assaulted, before the man was removed from the premises. 

The 45-year-old woman sustained bruising and swelling to her left jaw, bruising and swelling to her left forearm, a small laceration to her left forearm, stiffness to her neck, bruising to her chest but declined medical assistance. 

The two older women left the store without leaving their details and it’s unknown if they were injured. 

Following a public appeal, a 63-year-old man was arrested by officers from Richmond Police District on Nimbin Road, North Lismore and taken to Lismore Police Station. 

 He was charged with affray, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and common assault. 

The man was refused bail and will appear at Lismore Local Court today (Thursday, 19 March, 2020).

Sunday, 22 March 2020

This is not the Australia I grew up in.......



The Age, 17 March 2020:

Regional towns are being swamped by bus loads of panicked "Coles tourists" who are driving from the city to strip supermarket shelves of basic supplies.

The Age has heard reports of city-dwellers rushing supermarkets in Gisborne, Kyneton, Romsey, Seymour, Woodend, Daylesford and even in towns as far away as Kerang and Deniliquin.

Woodend, about 70 kilometres north-west of Melbourne, is now pleading for outsiders to give them a few days' break so its own elderly residents and families can buy necessities.

"We have one supermarket in town, a Coles, and we love our tourists, but we've got bus loads of people coming through and doing multiple runs through the store," Reverend Mel Clarke said.

"Coles have put limits on, but they're still able to clear us out."

Reverend Clarke, from St Mary's Anglican Church, said people had been coming to her door asking if she had supplies, but she too had now run out of many essentials.

She was in Kyneton when she spoke to The Age on Tuesday and said two buses had just arrived at the town's Woolworths.

"I don't know what they think they're going to get," she said.

"(In Woodend) we're trying our hardest amongst the community to make sure everyone has enough. We've got a neighbourhood house where if you've got a spare roll of toilet paper you can drop it off. We've got community groups popping up.

"But we just need a few days without the Coles tourists to get us back on our feet."

At the Romsey IGA, about 20 kilometres east of Woodend, it's been "like Christmas Eve" every day since mass cancellations began on Friday.

Kristi Gilbert, who co-runs a community Facebook page with more than 2000 members, said she had never seen anything like it in 10 years of Romsey life.

She said reports from shop staff was that many people were arriving from Melbourne, but some were also coming from larger regional centres like Bendigo.

Kate Bossence, from Kerang in northern Victoria, said supermarket shelves there started emptying during a rush of Melbourne tourists on the long weekend last week.

The 47-year-old said she had noticed mini-buses full of people stopping off at the local supermarkets that had "cleaned out absolutely everything".

"Since the long weekend, I just noticed that people behind the cash registers are struggling with the amount of produce that people are buying," Ms Bossence, an ex-nurse, said.

"It's kind of really reached a critical stage now.

"That leaves us locals, and aged pensioners, disability pensioners, with no food to really survive on for the next couple of weeks if we do go into lockdown which is looking more and more likely."

Woolworths opened at 7am on Tuesday and admitted only those with pension or disability cards for the next hour. Results were mixed across the city.

In Prahran, more than 100 elderly people lined up before dawn and almost all went straight for the empty toilet paper aisle.

They get us out of bed so early in the morning and the shelves are bare," Leah, 71, said.

"The three most important things - tissues, toilet paper and meat - and they are not there. I had to buy gyoza. We're not used to eating gyoza, but now we have to eat anything.

"I woke up at 3am and I didn't want to go back to sleep in case I slept and missed the toilet paper. But I missed it anyway. It's hard for us because we're old. I can't even walk. I had to take tablets just to be able to get here."

Sunday, 15 March 2020

Coles supermarkets now have new purchasing rules due to coronavirus panic buying as of 14 March 2020



As the situation around Coronavirus continues to develop, we believe that everyone in the community should have access to their share of grocery items, particularly the elderly.
Following the toilet paper restrictions introduced last week we have seen compassion from customers respecting these limits.
Our team members and suppliers have also been working as hard as possible delivering more products to stores every day and stocking shelves as quickly as possible. I would ask all customers to continue to respect and support our team members, particularly if a product is unavailable or the checkout queues are longer than normal.
To continue to allow everyone the opportunity to purchase staple items, we will be implementing a couple of further changes throughout our stores:
1.   From Saturday we will limit the purchase of pasta, flour, dry rice, paper towels, paper tissues and hand sanitisers to 2 items per customer. We will also be introducing some additional limits on certain items in each store. These can vary between stores, so please visit your local Coles for more information.
2.   From today we will be temporarily suspending our change-of-mind refund policy to discourage over-purchasing. If you have already purchased additional items you no longer want, please look at donating them to community organisations or neighbours who have been struggling to purchase them during this time.
Further information on Coronavirus can be found at www.health.gov.au
Thanks for your ongoing support and patience in these unprecedented times. We will get through this together!
Best wishes,
Steven Cain signature
Steven Cain
CEO, Coles Group

Monday, 7 October 2019

Groundwater plays a critical role for rivers worldwide and many aquifers are in trouble


National Geographic, 2 October 2019:

There’s more fresh water hidden below Earth’s surface in underground aquifers than any other source besides the ice sheets. That groundwater plays a critical role for rivers worldwide, from the San Pedro to the Ganges, keeping them running even when droughts bring their waters low. 

But in recent decades humans have pumped trillions of gallons out of those underground reservoirs. The result, says research published Wednesday in Nature, is a “slow desiccation” of thousands of river ecosystems worldwide. Already, somewhere between 15 and 21 percent of watersheds that experience groundwater extraction have slipped past a critical ecological threshold, the authors say—and by 2050, that number could skyrocket to somewhere between 40 and 79 percent. 

That means hundreds of rivers and streams around the world would become so water-stressed that their flora and fauna would hit a danger point, says Inge de Graaf, the lead author of the study and a hydrologist at the University of Freiburg. 

“We can really consider this ecological effect like a ticking time bomb,” she says. “If we pump the groundwater now, we don’t see the impacts until like 10 years further or even longer. So what we do right now will impact our environment for many years to come.” 

Groundwater holds up modern life 

The last undammed river in the U.S. Southwest, the San Pedro of southwestern Arizona, used to gush and roil. Birds chirped and splashed on its banks when they stopped by on their migrations. Rare fish swam in its pools. 

But in the 1940s, wells started to pop up in the nearby area, sucking clean, cool water out of the region’s underground aquifers

It turned out that a good portion of the water that flowed through the river came not from rain and upstream snowmelt, but from those underground sources. The more water that got pumped out of the aquifers, the less flowed into the river—and the wetlands, cottonwood stands, fauna, and rushing waters of the San Pedro all suffered. 

Groundwater is the hidden scaffold propping up much of modern life. Globally, about 40 percent of the food we grow is watered with liquid extracted from below Earth’s surface. 

But many of the aquifers from which this water is extracted took hundreds, or even tens of thousands of years to fill: The water inside may have percolated through cracks in the earth when giant ice sheets last covered New York City 20 thousand years ago. 

Much of that water is being removed much faster than it can be replenished. That has enormous potential consequences for people who want to drink water grow and crops in areas that don’t get enough rain. But far before those impacts emerge, the effects will—and in fact already have—hit rivers, streams, and the habitats around them. 

“Think of an aquifer like a bathtub full of water and sand,” explains Eloise Kendy, a freshwater scientist at the Nature Conservancy. Then, imagine running your finger lightly through the top of the sand, creating a little trail. That little trail fills up with water that percolates through the sand into the “stream.” 

“If you pump out just a little bit of water out of the bathtub, that stream is going to dry out, even though there’s plenty of water still left in the bathtub,” she says. "But as far as healthy rivers go, you’ve destroyed it. But because rivers don’t scream and shout, we don’t necessarily know that they’re in trouble.” 

Read the full article here.

Thursday, 18 April 2019

Food crises will affect tens of millions of people across the world this year, researchers warn



Reuters, 2 April 2019:

ROME (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Food crises will affect tens of millions of people across the world this year, researchers warned on Tuesday, after war, extreme weather and economic woes in 2018 left more than 113 million in dire need of help.

Conflict and insecurity were responsible for the desperate situation faced by 74 million people, or two-thirds of those affected, in 2018, said the Global Network against Food Crises in its annual report.

The Network’s members include the United Nations’ Food aand Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Food Programme, and the European Union.

Analyzing 53 countries, it uses a five-phase scale with the third level classified as crisis, fourth as emergency and fifth as famine/catastrophe.

Luca Russo, FAO’s senior food crises analyst, warned that millions more are now at risk of reaching level three and above.

“The 113 million is what we call the tip of the iceberg. If you look at the numbers further down, you have people who are not food insecure but they are on the verge,” Russo told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

These people, a further 143 million, are “so fragile that it just takes a bit of a drought” for them to fall into food crisis, he said.

“Unless we work substantially on these people and remove some of the drivers that can bring them to a worse situation, the overall numbers are likely to increase,” Russo added.

Of countries that suffered food crises in 2018, the worst affected was Yemen, where nearly 16 million people needed urgent food aid after four years of war, followed by the Democratic Republic of Congo at 13 million and Afghanistan at 10.6 million.....