Food Stamps

12 05 2008

I’m not in the greatest financial situation right now, but this article on WLNS shows that I’m luckier than I realized.

More Michigan families are relying on food stamps to put dinner on the table. The state says the number of households receiving the benefit has risen more than 50% in the past five years. Authorities say one in eight residents now gets help from the nutrition assistance program. This past March, more than 590,000 Michigan households received food stamps.

Wow.  1 in 8 Michiganders are using food stamps.  Then, I see this story on WLAJ.

It’s a plot to cheat the system, when food stamp users spend their stamps on box upon box of sale soda pop, but then dump out the soda, return the cans, and use the return to buy alcohol or other controlled substances. Grocery managers and security guards in Kalamazoo say they see it all the time.

Are you kidding me?!  I know it’s not technically illegal, but the mom interviewed in the story brings up a good point.

“What do you mean its not illegal?” she said. “It’s still fraud use of food stamps isn’t it? Doesn’t it qualify? Wow.”

There has GOT to be a way to prosecute this!  Having worked in news for five years myself, I have pretty much become immune to the type of stories that are shown.  Most of the time, the reporter rehases a generic story that is done in every market and then they put promos on the air designed to scare the viewer into watching.  I was angry when I saw this story.  I’m not on food stamps, but come on!  I’m tired of my tax money going to alcoholics!  I’m all in favor of helping people who need it, but this is ridiculous.


Press Release – Empty Plate Raises $168,000

12 05 2008

Got this press release from the Greater Lansing Food Bank….

EAST LANSING, Mich. — The Greater Lansing Food Bank raised $168,000 to help feed the area’s hungry at its annual “Empty Plate Dinner & Auction” Thursday May 8, 2008.

“We met our goal thanks to the generosity and participation of the events guests, sponsors, and vendors,” said Peter Pratt, Greater Lansing Food Bank chairman. “This money will help the Greater Lansing Food Bank purchase high-demand foods not available through donations, support innovative programs to rescue and grow nutritious foods, and provide nutrition education and self-help initiatives.”

Over 500 guests savored gourmet delights by some of the area’s top chefs and received a commemorative “empty plate” decorated by local school children. In addition, they bid on one-of-a-kind collector plates — hand painted by artists and celebrities — paired with dinner, hotel, gift certificate and service prize packages.

“The Greater Lansing Food Bank was formed by our community, to serve our community, and all donations stay in our community,” Pratt said. “Even though the auction is closed, I urge all local businesses and residents to continue helping us provide food for the growing number of hungry neighbors in our area.”

GLFB supports a network of 58 community kitchens, shelters, and food pantries in Clinton, Eaton and Ingham counties. In 2007 alone, the network served 1.2 million meals to children, seniors, working families and those on a fixed income. Unfortunately, it is still only able to reach about half of those in need — and the need is growing:

  • The number of Ingham County residents receiving food stamps increased nearly 50 percent in the last four years — many use the food bank to avoid missing meals at home

  • As many as 65 percent of Lansing students qualify for free or reduced breakfast and lunch

  • Eaton and Clinton county populations are increasing and Lansing/East Lansing area incomes are decreasing

  • Higher unemployment, and the rising cost of food and transportation are stretching everyone’s resources to the limit

The Greater Lansing Food Bank is a non-profit organization established in 1981. Its mission is to raise money, food and in-kind contributions for Lansing area emergency food needs; coordinate and support the food pantries in the area; promote, encourage and emphasize self-help programs toward the goal of self-sufficiency; and educate the community on hunger issues. It is the area’s leading source of food for those who need it most.

Michigan Brewing Company in Downtown Lansing?

12 05 2008

I missed this when I read the on-line edition of Noise this past week, but I noticed it in the print copy.  The Michigan Brewing Company based in Webberville, MI is looking to open a micro-brewery in Downtown Lansing.

The Michigan Brewing Company plans to open another microbrewery and pub at 402 Washington Square in downtown Lansing this year. Owner Bobby Mason said a microbrewery license is “in the works” and plans to lease the building that housed the former Greenhouse Bistro.

We ate the Michigan Brewing Company (review HERE) back on April 12 on our way to Howell to shop at the Tanger Outlets.  The food was alright, the beer was good, but the atmosphere wasn’t all that great.  A Downtown Lansing location would really add a lot the micro-brew.