A majority of people on government food programs get their food from large grocery stores according to a new report, which means they have a wide variety of foods available. More than 82 percent of SNAP benefits (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, formerly known as food stamps) are redeemed at supermarkets and superstores according to the USDA Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) Retailer Policy and Management Division 2012 Annual Report. $74 billion in client benefits were redeemed in the more than 246,000 participating stores, farmers’ markets, direct marketing farmers, homeless meal providers, treatment centers, group homes, and others authorized to accept SNAP. Supermarkets and superstores made up about 15 percent of the firms allowed to redeem SNAP benefits but continue to redeem the majority of them. In 2012, Michigan had 10,060 authorized firms to redeem SNAP benefits, those firms redeemed nearly $3 billion dollars worth of benefits. But despite recent criticisms by people saying the SNAP recipients waste their food stamps on high-sugar foods and drinks, The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that most food expenditures by people on SNAP are of the healthy variety. A 2005 study found that 35 percent of SNAP benefits went toward meats and meat alternatives, 20 percent went to grains, another 20 percent to fruits and vegetables, 12 percent to dairy, while only 13 percent went toward other foods. Not unlike the foods purchased...Read More
Month: May 2013
New information shows that the number of people on the government’s food assistance program coincides with the unemployment rate. More than one in seven Americans takes part in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps), that’s about 15.2 percent which is comparable to the percentage of Americans who are unemployed or underemployed, about 14.3 percent. In Michigan, 18 percent of our population takes part in SNAP (or FAP – the Food Assistance Program in Michigan). The U.S. Department of Agriculture data shows that Michigan FAP numbers went down three percent in February of this year compared with February last year. Overall nationally, SNAP caseloads also went down from January to February of this year, but in comparing February 2012 numbers to February 2013, 41 states and the District of Columbia reported an increase in SNAP caseloads. Unemployment and underemployment in most states and efforts to enroll more eligible needy people in SNAP are factors in the trends. More than 47-million people were on SNAP this past February, down by 213,962 people from February of 2012; however, that number is an increase of 71.9 percent from five years ago. Discussions during the Farm Bill mark up suggested too many people are on SNAP, but data from the Food Research and Action Center shows that one in four people eligible for SNAP go un-served. Implementing SNAP policies...Read More
As the House of Representative prepares to take a purely political vote on the risky Keystone XL pipeline, the country is learning of a new “reward” that comes with such a project thanks to the tar sands bitumen refining process: giant piles of toxic waste. The New York Times reported two weekends ago about a mountain of petroleum coke, or petcoke, that has been growing in Detroit since November and today Congressman John Conyers (D-MI) joined a press call today to discuss the issue affecting his hometown and constituents. “The petroleum coke mountain building up along the Detroit River is an eyesore to put it mildly. Not only for Detroit citizens but for our neighbors in Windsor, Canada as well. Detroit has an unquestionable right to clean air, clean water and environmental safety and I am determined to promote and protect those rights,” Representative Conyers said. Petroleum coke is the dirtier-than-coal byproduct of tar sands bitumen refining, which is exported to countries like China to be burned for fuel. In order to protect our health, EPA limits petcoke combustion in the US, so Koch Carbon and other companies are shipping it to places with the lowest environmental standards. Mr. Conyers continued, “We are trying to establish that Detroit should not be a dumping ground for this byproduct and I am not willing to leave petroleum coke unregulated. If we...Read More
LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder announced two appointments and one reappointment to the Complete Streets Advisory Council. The 18-member board is housed within the Michigan Department of Transportation. It provides education and advice to various groups, including the State Transportation Commission and county road commissions, on policies that provide roadway access to all users, including drivers, those who use mass transit, people with disabilities, pedestrians and bicyclists. “These individuals bring years of diverse, outstanding experiences to the council and I am confident they will effectively serve in these roles,” said Snyder. Appointments: Lynn Afendoulis, of Grand Rapids, is director of corporate communications for Universal Forest Products Inc., where she oversees public and investor relations, internal and executive communications and community affairs. She previously held positions in communications for Benteler Industries and The Greystone Group, and worked as a reporter for The Grand Rapids Press and The Tampa Tribune. Afendoulis earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Michigan State University. She will represent the State Transportation Commission and replaces Linda Miller-Atkinson. Rob Bacigalupi, of Traverse City, is deputy director of the Traverse City Downtown Development Authority, a position he has held since 1998. He previously worked as a senior planner with McKenna Associates Inc. and as director of planning and economic development for the city of Hazel Park. Bacigalupi is a member of the American Institute of Certified Planners....Read More
American Indian College Fund Names Bill Black, Tom Brooks, and Jeffrey Fillerup to Board of Trustees
Denver, Colo.—May, 2013 –The American Indian College Fund named three new members to its Board of Trustees at its 2013 quarterly spring meeting in Green Bay, Wisconsin. New trustees include Mr. Bill Black, Vice President and Executive Director of the Comcast Foundation and Director of Community Investment for Comcast Corporation; Thomas S. Brooks, Vice President, AT&T External & Legislative Affairs; and Jeffrey Fillerup, Partner, McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP. Bill Black is Vice President and Executive Director of the Comcast Foundation and Director of Community Investment for Comcast Corporation. He is responsible for Comcast’s financial and in-kind corporate giving initiatives, which totaled more than $330 million in 2012. Mr. Black manages the Comcast Foundation’s grant-making and operations, charitable sponsorships through the corporation, development of national partnerships, and executive placements on nonprofit boards. He joined Comcast in 2000 and has held various corporate affairs, communications and cable operations positions. Prior to joining Comcast, Mr. Black held various regional public policy and communications positions at cable operators MediaOne and Continental. He began his career in the cable industry in 1990 as General Manager for Bresnan Communications in Michigan. He holds a bachelor of science degree in business management from Thomas Edison State College and a master’s in business administration in project management and a master’s of arts degree in business communications from Jones International University. Mr. Black also serves on the...Read More
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