Must Read - DETROIT FOOD SUPPLIES

Must Read - DETROIT FOOD SUPPLIES

This is a discussion on Must Read - DETROIT FOOD SUPPLIES within the In the News: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly forums, part of the The Back Porch category; Hunger hits Detroit - Aug. 6, 2009 Here is a snapshot of the not so distant future....

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Thread: Must Read - DETROIT FOOD SUPPLIES

  1. #1
    Member Array dwyermw's Avatar
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    Must Read - DETROIT FOOD SUPPLIES

    Hunger hits Detroit - Aug. 6, 2009

    Here is a snapshot of the not so distant future.


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    Senior Member Array Jackle1886's Avatar
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    Scary stuff. I wonder why there is no supermarket there...seems like a good opportunity for someone.
    Better to die on your feet, than to live on your knees.

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    Distinguished Member Array tinkerinWstuff's Avatar
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    Hunger hits Detroit - Aug. 6, 2009

    Hunger hits Detroit's middle class
    Food has long been an issue in this city without a major supermarket. Now demand for assistance is rising, affecting a whole new set of people.

    By Steve Hargreaves, CNNMoney.com staff writer
    Last Updated: August 6, 2009: 10:07 AM ET

    DETROIT (CNNMoney.com) -- On a side street in an old industrial neighborhood, a delivery man stacks a dolly of goods outside a store. Ten feet away stands another man clad in military fatigues, combat boots and what appears to be a flak jacket. He looks straight out of Baghdad. But this isn't Iraq. It's southeast Detroit, and he's there to guard the groceries.

    "No pictures, put the camera down," he yells. My companion and I, on a tour of how people in this city are using urban farms to grow their own food, speed off.

    In this recession-racked town, the lack of food is a serious problem. It's a theme that comes up again and again in conversations in Detroit. There isn't a single major chain supermarket in the city, forcing residents to buy food from corner stores. Often less healthy and more expensive food.

    As the area's economy worsens --unemployment was over 16% in July -- food stamp applications and pantry visits have surged.

    Detroiters have responded to this crisis. Huge amounts of vacant land has led to a resurgence in urban farming. Volunteers at local food pantries have also increased.

    But the food crunch is intensifying, and spreading to people not used to dealing with hunger. As middle class workers lose their jobs, the same folks that used to donate to soup kitchens and pantries have become their fastest growing set of recipients.

    "We've seen about a third more people than before," said Jean Hagopian, a volunteer at the New Life food pantry, part of the New Life Assembly of God church in Roseville, a suburb some 20 miles northeast of Detroit. Hagopian said many of the new people seeking assistance are men, former breadwinners now in desperate need of a food basket.

    Hagopian is an 83-year old retired school teacher. She works at the pantry four days a week, spending two of those days driving her own minivan around town collecting food from local distributors.

    The pantry, housed in the church basement, gives away boxes of food that might feed a family of four for a week. It includes dry and packaged goods like cereals and pasta, peanut butter, canned fruits and vegetables, 7 or 8 pounds of frozen meat (usually chicken or hot dogs), and eight pan pizzas donated from a local Pizza Hut. Most of the other food is purchased from a distributor or donated by the county food program. Last month they gave out 519 boxes.

    Hagopian hopes the demand for food doesn't get much worse.

    "I hope we're at the top of it because we'll run out of food, and then we'll have to go out and find some more," she said.

    She should brace for the worst. Across metro Detroit, social service agencies are reporting a huge spike in demand for food assistance.

    Gleaners, an agency that distributes excess food donated from food processors, says their distribution is up 18% from last year. Michigan Department of Human Services, which handles federal food assistance like food stamps, WIC checks and such, has seen a 14% spike in applications since October. Calls to the United Way's help line have tripled in the last year.

    "Given the resources, we could double our numbers," said Frank Kubik, food program manager for Focus:Hope, a Detroit aid organization that fed 41,000 mostly elderly people last year. Kubik said his program is restricted by charter and budget from serving more than its current number of clients. But if that were changed, he could certainly serve up more meals.

    "There's no doubt about it, there's just so many out there that are really struggling right now," he said.

    The changing face of hunger
    There have been plenty of people struggling in Detroit for a long time. What makes this recession different is the type of people coming in. It's no longer just the homeless, or the really poor.

    Now it's middle class folks who lost their $60,000-a-year auto job, or home owners who got caught on the wrong side of the real estate bubble.

    Many of these people have never navigated the public assistance bureaucracy before, and that makes getting aid to them a challenge.

    "They have no idea where the DHS office is," said DeWayne Wells, president of Gleaners, the food distributor.

    To assist these newly hungry, Wells pointed to the United Way's 211 program, where people can call the hotline and speak to an operator that guides them through a wide range of available social services.

    The Michigan Department of Human Services is going digital, rolling out a program where people can apply for food stamps via the Web.

    That may help ease another challenge in getting aid to the middle class: pride. Many people feel so bad about having to ask for help that they just don't, or they have issues with it once they do.

    "They'll say things like 'I've never had to do this before' and they feel a little uncomfortable," said Hagopian, the retired school teacher. But she says times have changed, the good union jobs are disappearing and it's harder and harder to find work.

    "I just tell them society is not what it used to be," she said.

    Detroit responds
    Actually running out of food doesn't seem to be a problem, so far. In fact, because more people are being affected the response seems to be greater.

    "A few years ago it was someone you saw a profile of on TV," said Wells. "Now it's your brother in-law, or the people your kid plays soccer with."

    Wells said volunteers are up at Gleaners, as is general community awareness.

    The Feds have helped too. Food stamp allowances were increased 14% nationwide under the stimulus plan.

    Detroiters are also helping themselves in smaller ways. Thanks to the dearth of big supermarkets in Detroit proper - a phenomenon largely attributed to lack of people - and plenty of vacant land, community gardening has caught on big.

    It's not so much that these gardens are going to feed the city, although they certainly help. It's more that they can be used to teach people, especially children, the value of eating right.

    "I use vegetables every day," said one child at an after school gardening program run by Earthworks Urban Farm, near the heart of the city. "Last night, an onion I picked from here, I had in my potatoes."

    Hearing that is good news to people like Dan Carmody, president of Eastern Market Corp., a century-old public market selling fresh produce and other foodstuffs near downtown Detroit.

    Carmody is part of a group of people tying to bring healthy food to town. The efforts include setting up mobile produce stands around the city, working with convenience store owns to stock better produce, and trying to set up a program that allows food stamp recipients to spend twice as much money if they buy from a local farmer.

    He says the food situation in Detroit is particularly depressing because the surrounding areas are chock full with some of the best eats around: Michigan grows some of the most varied crops in the nation, everything from apples and cantaloupes to peaches and watermelon. Windsor, just across the bridge, is the hydroponics capital of Canada. Artisan Amish farms are also close by in Ohio and Pennsylvania.

    Getting this food to Detroit, and getting Detroiters to buy it is the challenge. That's where the urban farms come in.

    "Once kids start seeing where their food comes from," he said, "it changes the whole approach to how they eat."

    First Published: August 6, 2009: 8:03 AM ET
    "Run for your life from the man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper's bell of an approaching looter. So long as men live together on earth and need means to deal with one another-their only substitute, if they abandon money, is the muzzle of a gun."

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    VIP Member Array Cupcake's Avatar
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    Well, there has been major chains in the past but they've closed as the big chains have merged and been sold and gone under, etc. Others, I think just have had a hard time being profitable in an area with tremendous losses from theft, and the fact the the city is no longer as densley populated as it has been in the past. There are some good size grocery stores still, but not the major chains. Part of it is transportation...there are oodles of people without cars, and taking home lots of groceries on a bus is a pain...so they end up at the closest place that has groceries.
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    Senior Member Array mi2az's Avatar
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    There were many grocery stores in Detroit at some time in the past. After the 1967 race riots, there what was called white flight. People left the city in droves just abanding their homes and moving to the Burbs.

    The grocery stores were getting robbed and most insurance companies refused to insure the business if it had a Detroit zipcode. Theses grocery stores also moved out to the burbs since police protection was lacking and the Detroit police had I could care less attitude.

    My brother was a doctor and had one of his offices on 7 mile and Hayes, his car was broken into numerous times as well as his office. The Detroit police didn't even want to come out so he could file a police report. He moved his office just 1 mile, 8 mile and Hayes and it was a world of difference in having a business in the Burbs.
    "When the people fear the government you have tyranny...when the government fears the people you have liberty."

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    Member Array MedPig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dwyermw View Post
    Hunger hits Detroit - Aug. 6, 2009

    Here is a snapshot of the not so distant future.
    Sounds like that "Hope and Change" is working out for them. How nice.
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    Ex Member Array BikerRN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MedPig View Post
    Sounds like that "Hope and Change" is working out for them. How nice.
    This is what you get when you allow uneducated people to vote based on the "race" card.

    I personally believe that the so called "right" to vote needs to be restricted to taxpayers, that file a return and property owners. I realize that view is not held by many, if any others, but it's my view.

    Please don't tell me that transients and illegals pay taxes. I'm not talking about Sales Tax here, but rather the 1040 Form.

    Biker
    Last edited by BikerRN; August 7th, 2009 at 03:01 PM. Reason: typo

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    Member Array Tombstone55's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikerRN View Post
    This is what you get when you allow uneducated people to vote based on the "race" card.

    I personally believe that the so called "right" to vote needs to be restricted to taxpayers, that file a return and property owners. I realize that view is not held by many, if any others, but it's my view.

    Please don't tell me that transients and illegals pay taxes. I'm not talking about Sales Tax here, but rather the 1040 Form.

    Biker
    Well said brother!!! I'll back up that opinion!

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    Quote Originally Posted by MedPig View Post
    Sounds like that "Hope and Change" is working out for them. How nice.
    To those wanting more free stuff, it's "Hope and Change", but to those of us who aren't afraid of WORKING for a living and just protecting what we have worked for and EARNED, it's "Scope and Range". OMO
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    Senior Member Array dnowell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BikerRN View Post
    This is what you get when you allow uneducated people to vote based on the "race" card.

    I personally believe that the so called "right" to vote needs to be restricted to taxpayers, that file a return and property owners. I realize that view is not held by many, if any others, but it's my view.

    Please don't tell me that transients and illegals pay taxes. I'm not talking about Sales Tax here, but rather the 1040 Form.

    Biker
    I'm curious - I see three ways to implement this:

    (1) Only vote if you file taxes
    (2) Only vote if you pay taxes
    (3) Only vote if you pay taxes that meet or exceed your cost to the gov't. (around 60-80k income)

    Plenty of people pay taxes when they're basically on the doll.

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    Ex Member Array BikerRN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dnowell View Post
    I'm curious - I see three ways to implement this:

    (1) Only vote if you file taxes
    (2) Only vote if you pay taxes
    (3) Only vote if you pay taxes that meet or exceed your cost to the gov't. (around 60-80k income)

    Plenty of people pay taxes when they're basically on the doll.
    See the part about owning property.

    To clarify, I mean real estate, such as a house. You may have a mortgage, but in a sense it's your's.

    If you file a 1040 and are paying on a mortgage then in my "perfect world" you would qualify to vote. It wouldn't guarantee that only those I like would get elected, but it would be a start in people having a say in who gets elected beyond the "popularity contest" crap we have now.

    18 y/o kids fresh out of High School have very little concept of what they are voting for in most cases. Granted there are some exceptions to the rule, but they aren't as common as many might think. Voting is too important to do "on a whim" IMO.

    Biker

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    Senior Member Array Jackle1886's Avatar
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    Biker I understand why you and other feel this way, TRUST ME. But this type of thinking would alienate those of us who are younger and agree with you on most things. I am very thankful that great men and women have died to give me the RIGHT to vote. I take it very seriously, and I would not take too lightly to that being taken away (hypothetically speaking).
    Better to die on your feet, than to live on your knees.

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    I like Ret's platform of "Scope and Range." Since we're voting SIXTO for President in the next election, I'd like to officially nominate RETSUPT99 for Vice President! If anyone knows what to do about all those punk kids running around, Ret does :)
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    Senior Member Array gilraen's Avatar
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    And someone wants to take away my right to vote because I live in an apartment?

    Heck no!
    Last edited by Miggy; August 8th, 2009 at 07:26 AM. Reason: language workaround
    "I pledge allegiance to the war banner of the united states of Totalitaria. And to the Republic, which no longer stands, several bankers, who are now god, indivisible, with Bernanke bucks and credit for all."

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    How about Draggon44 (sp) for homeland security
    God Bless our troops,Pass the ammo
    carry guns,g30,g39
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    my avater is part of the reason i feel the way i do.

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