Posts tagged with "Petition"

Over 2,000 people have petitioned Costco to add a vegan hot dog to its food court menu

October 7, 2019

It may not be in the Zagat guide, but a visit to Costco’s food court menu-which serves a menu of pizza, hot dogs and ice cream—is a on the must-do list of most shoppers when they visit the big-box store.

Now, according to Business Insider, nearly 2,000 people have signed a petition for the warehouse retailer to introduce a vegan hot dog to its food court menu. The Change.org petition was started by Scott Hildebrand, who wrote on the website that he has been vegan for eight years and has eaten a meat-free diet for over a decade.

“We need to work with companies to make plant-based options more accessible,” Hildebrand, who lives near Costco’s headquarters in Washington State, said in a statement. “Our family, like countless others, are regulars at Costco. I’d love to see them extend plant-based options to the food court, so we can enjoy veggie hot dogs after a Sunday shopping trip.”

Costco already is on the same page. The company has announced that some stores will start selling a plant-based burger within in the next few weeks, Business Insider reports.

Indeed, the stores actually went too far and  sparked a backlash in July 2018, the new outlet says, when it cut its Polish hot dog from its menu in favor of vegan and healthier options like açai bowls and organic burgers.

“Sorry, but when I feel like a hot dog or pizza, a salad is the last thing on my mind,” the petition reads.

The petition also notes the growing availability of vegan and plant-based options nationwide, including Burger King’s Impossible WhopperKFC’s Beyond Fried Chicken, and Ikea’s rollout of a vegan hot dog.

The petition is directed toward Costco CEO Craig Jelinek.

A Costco representative did not return a request from Business Insider for comment.

Research contact: @businessinsider

Pets need food stamps, too!

February 5, 2018

Each year, over 40 million limited-income Americans rely on the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to help purchase food for themselves and their families. It is the most wide-reaching program in the domestic hunger safety net, helping to keep millions of families from starving. But what about their pets?

Now, a Mississippi man is petitioning the federal government to modify food stamp rules to make it easier for those with limited incomes to feed their dogs, cats, birds, hamsters, snakes, fish—or whatever type of animal is a member of the family.

According to a report in the Denver Post, Edward Johnston Jr. would rather give his dinner to his dog than watch the pooch go hungry. That is why the 59-year-old Mississippi resident is petitioning the Department of Agriculture to let him use food stamps on kibble and pet treats.

And he is not the only one: His food drive has attracted nearly 80,000 signatures on the popular petition site Care2, as well as a number of animal welfare organizations.

Indeed, the need is obvious, based on findings of the 2017-2018 National Pet Owners Survey, commissioned by the American Pet Products Association, an industry group: Fully 14% of all pet-owning households make less than $25,000 per year—which, for a family of four, is roughly the federal poverty limit.

Food for  each dog and cat averages $235 per year, according to the Pet Products Association. According to the Denver Post, when families don’t have enough money to buy pet food, they frequently do what Johnston does: Share the people food. But it’s not the same, and it can harm pets.

Not only that, but food costs can prompt families trying to get by on limited incomes to surrender or re-home a pet. In a 2015 study by the ASPCA, 30% of low-income people who relinquished their pets said they would have kept them if they had a free or low-cost pet food option.

The problems are real, but food-stamp experts say it’s doubtful that changing SNAP could be part of the solution. SNAP has explicitly excluded pet food since its earliest authorization in 1964.

In lieu of government action, nonprofit organizations such as the ASPCA and Rescue Bank, a national emergency pet-food distributor, say they have stepped up their own efforts. Food pantries also have gotten in on the action.

However, ultimately, advocates say, such organizations cannot provide for all the low-income people struggling to feed dogs and cats. Until they can, people like Johnston face difficult choices.

“Being poor is hard enough,” the Post said he wrote in his petition, “without being expected to give up your companion.”

Research contact: apa2@apapets.org