Growing up outside of Tokyo, Chef Kenji Miyaishi’s mother used to send him off with bento boxes of onigiri rice balls, karaage fried chicken, tamago-yaki egg omelets and vegetables from her garden.

Now, as he’s pivoted his upscale restaurant in Napa, California, to prepare and deliver bento boxes amid the pandemic, he says he aims to serve with the same values of precision, culture and care his mother did.

Chef Kenji Miayishi. Credit Bob McClenahan (Bob McClenahan)
Chef Kenji Miayishi. Credit Bob McClenahan (Bob McClenahan)

Bento boxes can be traced back to the Kamakura period in 12th century Japan, and this year — with restaurants relying on takeout and delivery — they’ve become a relevant and culturally authentic way for kaiseki chefs across the country to stay in business.

And some chefs say, at a time of uncertainty, the boxes have also come to symbolize nurturing and comfort.

“Bento is usually made by a mother for her children

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Growing up outside of Tokyo, Chef Kenji Miyaishi’s mother used to send him off with bento boxes of onigiri rice balls, karaage fried chicken, tamago-yaki egg omelets and vegetables from her garden.

Now, as he’s pivoted his upscale restaurant in Napa, California, to prepare and deliver bento boxes amid the pandemic, he says he aims to serve with the same values of precision, culture and care his mother did.

Kenzo Napa Head Chef Kenji Miayishi.Bob McClenahan

Bento boxes can be traced back to the Kamakura period in 12th century Japan, and this year — with restaurants relying on takeout and delivery — they’ve become a relevant and culturally authentic way for kaiseki chefs across the country to stay in business.

And some chefs say, at a time of uncertainty, the boxes have also come to symbolize nurturing and comfort.

“Bento is usually made by a mother for her children

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CHICAGO — Food pantries for months have relied on a government-sponsored food box program to serve a spike in needy families during the pandemic. But the latest batch of boxes includes an item some find unpalatable as the election nears: a letter signed by President Donald Trump.



text, letter: Some of the boxes of food distributed on September 29, 2020, by the Greater Auburn-Gresham Development Corporation in Chicago came from the federal government and contained a latter from the White House, bearing the signature of President Donald Trump.


© Terrence Antonio James/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Some of the boxes of food distributed on September 29, 2020, by the Greater Auburn-Gresham Development Corporation in Chicago came from the federal government and contained a latter from the White House, bearing the signature of President Donald Trump.

The letter, printed in both English and Spanish on White House letterhead, highlights the Farmers to Families Food Box program and includes general safety information for preventing COVID-19 transmission.

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It does not mention the Nov. 3 election, but some local food pantries say it’s inappropriate and plan to remove the letter before distributing the boxes to families.

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Food pantries for months have relied on a government-sponsored food box program to serve a spike in needy families during the pandemic. But the latest batch of boxes includes an item some find unpalatable as the election nears: a letter signed by President Donald Trump.



a group of people standing in a park: Workers help distribute food from the Greater Chicago Food Depository on Sept. 29, 2020, at the Greater Auburn-Gresham Development Corporation's food distribution site in the 7900 block of South Halsted Street in Chicago. Other boxes of food, not those from the GCFD, came from the federal government and contained a latter from The White House which bore the signature of President Donald Trump.


© Terrence Antonio James / Chicago Tribune/Chicago Tribune/TNS
Workers help distribute food from the Greater Chicago Food Depository on Sept. 29, 2020, at the Greater Auburn-Gresham Development Corporation’s food distribution site in the 7900 block of South Halsted Street in Chicago. Other boxes of food, not those from the GCFD, came from the federal government and contained a latter from The White House which bore the signature of President Donald Trump.

The letter, printed in both English and Spanish on White House letterhead, highlights the Farmers to Families Food Box program and includes general safety information for preventing COVID-19 transmission.

It does not mention

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  • Kraft is releasing a limited edition Pumpkin Spice Macaroni and Cheese flavor this fall.
  • 1,000 lucky winners will get to try a box, which comes with a coffee cup and a special pumpkin-spice flavor packet.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

As the leaves turn orange, flannel-wearers everywhere anticipate the arrival of the classic drink: The Pumpkin Spice Latte. But this year, there’s another seasonal treat to look forward to: Pumpkin Spice Mac & Cheese.

On Tuesday, Kraft Canada announced that they would be raffling off 1,000 boxes come October, and directed people to an online waitlist to enter for a chance to win. 30,000 Canadians signed up for the waitlist in 48 hours, according to Today. On Friday, Kraft announced that Americans have the chance to taste the special edition mac and cheese too. 

“While Pumpkin Spice KD may be trolling the classic ‘PSL’, this spicy cheesy treat

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President Trump, who is always in a self-promotion mode, wants Americans who are suffering enough to seek assistance to think that he is largely responsible for their most recent meal.

Letters signed by Trump have been included in government-funded food relief packages shipped to needy families by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. According to CBS News, the boastful letter uses the White House letterhead and has prompted 49 Democratic members of Congress to send a letter of their own to the USDA questioning the legality of Trump’s brash move, citing the Hatch Act.

“Using a federal relief program to distribute a self-promoting letter from the President to American families just three months before the presidential election is inappropriate and a violation of federal law,” the letter said. “A public health crisis is not an opportunity for the administration to promote its own political interests. Likewise, a federal food assistance program

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I immediately called my bank to report the fraud. I was told the money would be refunded, but I foolishly did not insist they freeze the account.

Three days later, a new check appeared in our online account. It was for $6,421.11 and was paid to a “Taryell” (NBC News is withholding her last name). It resembled a Bank of America check but was made to look like it belonged to a business entity with my last name: “Prosperity Schapiro LLC,” read the words at the top.

The words on the check were written in computer type except for the signature, which resembled mine but wasn’t exact.

I called the bank again and closed down the account. Once again, the money was returned.

I also filed a report by phone with the postal inspectors. I was given a claim number and told someone would follow up with me. Four months

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A United States Postal Service spokesperson said officials will not “be removing any boxes” before the election, as concerns over delayed mail delivery potentially jeopardize delivering ballots in time for November.

Since taking over the role in June, Postmaster General Louis DeJoy has imposed a number of cost-cutting measures across the system, including eliminating overtime and late dispatch hours. These measures have been reported to cause compounding delays in mail delivery, raising concerns for voters who fear their ballots may too delayed to be counted for the upcoming presidential election. 

USPS spokesperson Rod Spurgeon told NBC News on Friday that the agency would hold off until the election, when officials will reevaluate operations.

Spurgeon’s reassurance came after several posts on social media said mailboxes were being removed by trucks.

Presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden balked at the

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Representatives at the United States Postal Service’s national headquarters in Washington were still unable to confirm whether they would stop removing letter collection boxes as of Saturday afternoon.

Rod Spurgeon, a USPS spokesperson for the service’s Western region, told CNN on Friday night that postal employees in 16 states and parts of two others would stop the removal of letter collection boxes until after the election.

But it’s unclear whether or not the policy confirmed by Spurgeon is still in effect or if they will be returning the removed letter collection boxes to their previous locations.

That’s because the USPS’ reorganization plan took effect on Saturday, completely changing the geographical divisions of the entire postal service: the Western region is now significantly bigger in the retail and delivery and the logistics and processing operations.

Before the reorganization, the Western region had consisted of Washington, Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah,

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Representatives at the United States Postal Service’s national headquarters in Washington were still unable to confirm whether they would stop removing letter collection boxes as of Saturday afternoon.



a pile of luggage sitting on top of a blue suitcase: Iconic USPS blue letter collection boxes, which a union official tells CNN, had been removed form the streets of New York.


© Courtesy NY Metro APWU
Iconic USPS blue letter collection boxes, which a union official tells CNN, had been removed form the streets of New York.

Rod Spurgeon, a USPS spokesperson for the service’s Western region, told CNN on Friday night that postal employees in 16 states and parts of two others would stop the removal of letter collection boxes until after the election.

But it’s unclear whether or not the policy confirmed by Spurgeon is still in effect or if they will be returning the removed letter collection boxes to their previous locations.

That’s because the USPS’ reorganization plan took effect on Saturday, completely changing the geographical divisions of the entire postal service: the Western region is now significantly bigger

Read More