Column: SNAP update will help fight hunger, especially in northern Michigan

BY: - August 27, 2021

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) keeps 270,000 Michiganders, more than 40%of them children, out of poverty every year and helps ensure that families have enough to eat.  SNAP’s positive impact has been limited, however, by an outdated basis for calculating benefits. President Joe Biden’s administration recently announced steps to modernize the program and increase […]

Study: SNAP benefits don’t come close to covering the cost of a meal in Leelanau County

BY: - July 28, 2021

Leelanau County in northern Michigan has the largest gap nationwide between maximum Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits and the average cost of a meal, according to a recent study.  Urban Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based social and economic policy research nonprofit, found that in 2020, the average meal in Leelanau County, which is estimated to […]

More than 1.25M Michiganders approved to receive emergency food assistance in July

BY: - July 23, 2021

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) announced Thursday that Michigan families who are eligible for food assistance benefits will receive an additional monthly payment in July. More than 1.25 million people in close to 700,000 Michigan households will benefit under approval from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food […]

Whitmer signs bill investing $2B of COVID relief in food, rental assistance

BY: - June 23, 2021

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Wednesday signed bipartisan legislation to invest $2.2 billion in COVID-19 relief funds in food and rental support for Michiganders, largely made up of federal funds.  The legislation comes just one week before the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) national moratorium on evictions expires on June 30. “As we look […]

More college students are eligible for food stamps during the pandemic — but many don’t know that

BY: - April 19, 2021

When the pandemic first hit last year, many college students were left unemployed when businesses closed and colleges went virtual, creating an even greater population of young adults in Michigan who struggle with food insecurity. But this problem isn’t new in Michigan.  In 2015, almost 1.5 million people in Michigan were food insecure, or struggle […]

Vilsack keys in on food insecurity and nutrition in USDA budget request

BY: - April 15, 2021

WASHINGTON — U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Wednesday laid out USDA’s goals to expand food insecurity and nutrition programs in the president’s budget request, as well as the agency’s focus on programs to address longtime racial discrimination. “Normally I would talk to you all about numbers in the budget,” Vilsack, the former governor of […]


Gilda Z. Jacobs: Reframing Lame Duck and seizing the moment

BY: - December 4, 2020

Updated, 8:36 a.m. 12/4/20 As we continue to tick through the calendar of a most unusual year, this week marked the start of the Lame Duck legislative session. While Lame Duck is most known for hyper-partisanship and contentious and controversial legislation, it also is a very important time for good policies, because anything not passed […]

Levin says McConnell’s priorities are ‘completely ass-backwards’ on COVID-19 and SCOTUS 

BY: - October 26, 2020

As America speeds toward the Nov. 3 election, millions of parents and kids across the country are waiting on a split Congress to nail down another round of coronavirus relief funding for everything from schools to food and nutrition assistance programs. “Every single agency nonprofit I’ve talked to that deals with hunger issues says that […]

Report: More than half of college students struggle with food, housing amid COVID-19 pandemic

BY: - August 27, 2020

Jasmine Jordan, a Michigan State University (MSU) senior, has endured a challenging last nine months. In December, she suffered a bout of pneumonia. In March, her grandmother, Jackie, died from COVID-19. Her parents also acquired coronavirus during the spring but have recovered. And, if all of that wasn’t enough, MSU officials in March abruptly closed […]


Column: Senate GOP COVID-19 relief plan is light on ‘relief,’ low on heroics

BY: - July 31, 2020

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer spent a portion of her COVID-19 briefing this week criticizing the long-awaited U.S. Senate Republicans’ COVID relief package that proved to be pretty light on actual relief for our residents, our state budget and our state as whole.  State Budget Director Chris Kolb echoed her sentiments, noting that “there is not a […]

Nessel wants food stamps saved for 144K in Mich. during COVID-19

BY: - April 22, 2020

Attorney General Dana Nessel joined 21 other attorney generals and the corporation counsel for the city of New York in sending a letter to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) demanding the agency not finalize a proposed rule. It would take Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits away from 3.1 million people, including an estimated […]

As COVID-19 spreads and Mich. death toll hits 1k, Whitmer signs stronger stay home order

BY: - April 9, 2020

“I’m in the business of saving lives,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said after announcing she is expanding Michigan’s stay-at-home order until April 30.  As expected, Executive Order 2020-42 extends the prior “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order, which was set to end Monday. What some conservative critics didn’t seem ready for was that she also imposed more […]