Thursday, July 17, 2008

Thursday Economic Roundup--hunger increasing across Michigan

As GM frantically eliminates jobs and costs and MEDC judiciously awards tax breaks to attract jobs, Michigan's unemployment remains top in the nation at 8.5 percent in June. High unemployment and economic upheaval continue to affect children and families across the state and food pantries struggle to keep up with demand.

Families do without when foodbanks run dry in Shiawassee County.The Argus Press reported Saturday that "At least 400 families in Shiawassee County are going to be hungry this week." If you're Phil Gramm, complaining about hunger is just so much whining. But if you are a poor, homeless, hungry child in Michigan the pain is real.

Bay City Schools to start feeding all kids breakfast. Bay City Schools join nine other districts in Michigan to test a pilot program, the federal Universal School Breakfast program, which will serve all students a free breakfast, regardless of whether they qualify for free or reduced meals.

Ann Arbor's Motor Meals is facing a financial squeeze that could get tighter, according to executive director Elizabeth Adams. Falling donations, increasing need and soaring food and fuel costs threaten this and other hunger organizations' operating budgets.

In Isabella County food banks are running out of stock. Irene Little, emergency programs director at the Central Michigan Chapter of the Red Cross, says there is a steep increase of new people seeking assistance. And she predicts "there are a lot of rough times coming."