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GVSU education farm donating crops to those most in need of food during pandemic

Low-income families are being especially hard-hit during the coronavirus pandemic. Grand Valley State University is donating all produce grown from its educational farm to those who need it most. The spring growing season is underway at Grand Valley State University’s educational farm. When students and farm volunteers were sent home to slow the spread of the coronavirus, the administration suggested donating the crops. “We got the financial support to keep going and keep growing...given...

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GVSU Education Farm photo
gvsu.edu

Low-income families are being especially hard-hit during the coronavirus pandemic. Grand Valley State University is donating all produce grown from its educational farm to those who need it most.

The spring growing season is underway at Grand Valley State University’s educational farm. When students and farm volunteers were sent home to slow the spread of the coronavirus, the administration suggested donating the crops.

Amy Simonson and Dan Stuglik and cardboards silhouettes of guests they had invited to their wedding
Screenshot from Amy Simonson and Dan Stuglik

  Cardboard cutout wedding guests will make for a not-so-cookie-cutter wedding as a Michigan couple prepares to tie the knot during the coronavirus pandemic. After Amy Simonson and Dan Stuglik’s wedding plans were disrupted amid the outbreak, a packaging company donated more than 100 cardboard cutouts to pose as stand-ins for the family and friends who couldn’t attend the wedding this Saturday because of Michigan’s stay-at-home order. The Herald-Palladium reported Menasha Packaging Co.

SMART bus for Detroit downtown
Wikimedia Commons

  Officials say a Detroit bus driver who had expressed anger on Facebook about a coughing passenger has died. Fifty-year-old Jason Hargrove felt ill about four days after posting a passionate video on social media on March 21. Glenn Tolbert of the bus drivers union says Hargrove died Wednesday. In his Facebook video, Hargrove was frustrated over a woman's repeated coughs on his bus. He said “some folks don't care.” Hargrove said bus drivers are just “trying to make a honest living.” Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan says everyone in America should watch the video.

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The Grand Rapids Public Schools District is making the transition from face-to-face learning to a virtual classroom housed on the internet.

“We are securing learning management systems that are effectively used across the country to support teaching and learning but online.”

That’s John Helmholdt, Director of Communications at GRPS. He says the challenge is a large percentage of GRPS families don’t have the technology for engaging in a virtual classroom.

“And so, we would look to distribute wireless hotspots along with the technology.”

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With Grand Rapids hospitals experiencing a major shortage of nasal swabs for COVID-19 test kits, a local West Michigan company has been hard at work ramping up production. As cases of coronavirus ncrease across the state of Michigan, health officials say the supply chain surrounding vital test kits for the virus remains fragile. In Grand Rapids, hospitals are specifically running out of the sterile nasal swabs used to conduct coronavirus testing.

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At least one-quarter of garment workers in Bangladesh — the world's second-largest clothing manufacturer, after China — have been fired or furloughed because of declining global orders amid the coronavirus crisis, according to the Penn State Center for Global Workers' Rights.

Bill Withers, the sweet-voiced baritone behind such classic songs as "Ain't No Sunshine," "Lean on Me" and "Use Me" has died. Withers was 81 years old. According to a family statement given to the Associated Press, he died Monday in Los Angeles due to heart complications.

GVSU Education Farm photo
gvsu.edu

Low-income families are being especially hard-hit during the coronavirus pandemic. Grand Valley State University is donating all produce grown from its educational farm to those who need it most.

The spring growing season is underway at Grand Valley State University’s educational farm. When students and farm volunteers were sent home to slow the spread of the coronavirus, the administration suggested donating the crops.

Ecuador is one of the smallest countries in South America but it is dealing with one of the region's worst outbreaks of COVID-19, with more than 3,100 identified infections and 120 deaths.

The epicenter of the country's outbreak is the Pacific port city of Guayaquil, where bodies are lying in the streets.

Guayaquil has registered about half of all Ecuador's coronavirus cases and patients have overwhelmed the city's hospitals. In addition, a nationwide curfew and bureaucratic red tape have hindered the work of undertakers.

Across the world, officials have been desperately adopting sweeping measures in a bid to keep people separated and the coronavirus at bay. But even among the wide range tried so far, one attempted solution in Peru and Panama has proven unusual: Officials in both countries have begun to limit their residents' movement by gender — with men only allowed to leave the home on some days and women on others.

"We have to get fewer people on the streets every day," Peruvian President Martín Vizcarra explained in comments to his Cabinet ministers Thursday.

Even before the coronavirus pandemic began, the millions of mostly women of color, mostly immigrant and often undocumented domestic workers in the U.S. had little job security. But now the current health crisis has this workforce reeling.

New York state had it deadliest day yet stemming from the coronavirus, with more than 500 fatalities, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday.

The death toll has gone up from 2,373 to 2,935 in the last 24 hours, Cuomo told reporters during a late morning press conference. He described it as the "highest single increase in the number of deaths since we started."

Social service providers that rely on volunteers are having to scale back operations, just as more Americans are coming to them for help.

Julio Alonso, executive director and CEO of the Hoosier Hills Food Bank in Bloomington, Ind., says students from nearby Indiana University usually help pack and distribute food, but they've been sent home because of the pandemic.

"In addition to those student groups, a lot of businesses come on a regular basis and volunteer for us as groups, and that has pretty much gone out the window," Alonso said.

A key maker of N95 respirator masks, 3M, is arguing against a Trump administration request to keep U.S.-made masks in the domestic market, saying the policy could backfire by triggering retaliation. Trump signed a Defense Production Act order Thursday specifically aimed at requiring 3M to prioritize orders from the U.S. government.

The president and others have criticized 3M, with some officials saying it allows or even encourages profiteering during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Álvaro Callama is struggling to survive an economic double whammy.

A Venezuelan electrician, he fled his homeland two years ago amid a devastating economic crisis that left him too poor to buy food. He moved to neighboring Colombia, where Callama — nothing if not resourceful — worked three jobs: picking fruit, laying bricks and guiding tourists on horseback rides.

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