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 […]

Relief payments to Black farmers on hold amid lawsuits backed by former Trump aides, conservative groups

BY: - June 28, 2021

WASHINGTON — Former Trump administration officials and conservative and libertarian nonprofits have launched lawsuits to block federal relief funds aimed at Black and minority farmers — a development that House Agriculture Committee Chair David Scott of Georgia calls “an evil system at work here.” Suits have been filed in Florida, Wisconsin and Texas that say […]

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 […]

House Agriculture panel probes ‘systemic’ USDA discrimination against Black farmers

BY: - March 26, 2021

WASHINGTON  — The House Agriculture Committee on Thursday heard about how Black farmers have faced decades of racial discrimination in their dealings with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The committee’s chair, Rep. David Scott (D-Ga.), said the testimony at the virtual hearing would help the panel craft legislation that aims to increase the number of […]

810K children attending school virtually will start receiving food assistance

BY: - March 17, 2021

Around 810,000 Michigan children and their families have now begun to receive automatic food assistance from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the state announced this week. The $741.6 million total in assistance benefits is aimed toward Michigan families that normally rely on free or reduced-price lunches at school to help feed […]

Stabenow: Vilsack is ‘one step closer’ to taking back reins at USDA

BY: - February 3, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate Agriculture Committee on Tuesday unanimously approved Tom Vilsack’s nomination to lead the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), after a hearing in which Vilsack discussed climate change goals in farming, food insecurity, supply chain problems and inequalities faced by Black farmers. “We are one step closer to confirming Secretary Vilsack so […]

USDA extends free student meal programs through end of 2020 

BY: - September 1, 2020

The U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) on Tuesday granted requests from federal lawmakers for extensions on free meal programs for schoolchildren. After his department received numerous requests for flexibility during the COVID-19 pandemic, no-cost summer meal programs have been extended through the fall, per Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, who called the situation “unprecedented.”  “This extension […]

Tough times on the farm: Why Midwest agriculture was on the ropes before coronavirus

BY: and - May 18, 2020

All in all, 2019 was a terrible year for farmers across the Midwest. And 2020 doesn’t look much better. Bad weather, trade wars and low prices due to oversupply all contributed to the grim economic news, even before the COVID-19 pandemic began wreaking havoc with export markets. “Agriculture has been in a pretty strong downturn […]

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 […]

Updated: Michigan coronavirus cases up to 25, SOS stops walk-in appts. 

BY: , and - March 13, 2020

Updated, 9:06 p.m., 3/13/20 with nine new cases There are new cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by a new coronavirus, reported in Michigan as of Friday evening. That has brought the total of presumptive positive cases up to 25, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).* Coronavirus information can be […]

Bipartisan officials are worried about Michigan’s high water levels and erosion. Can they agree on a solution?

BY: - February 12, 2020

Local, state and federal officials convened this week at Lansing Community College’s West Campus for an all-day summit, called for by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, to address record high water levels across the state and collaborate on solutions going forward. “As we deal with rising lake levels, there aren’t a lot of things that stop Mother […]