Reference to a current Michigan bill or law that relates in some way to your proposal:
Why this proposal will make a difference in the lives of students of all ages across Michigan, or a significant subgroup (by age, background, economic status, and/or region, etc.) of students in Michigan:
How and where did you learn about the issues underlying your proposal?
How has your service activity influenced your thinking about this proposal?
Link to your media artifact(s) giving background on the issue:
Talk directly with at least 3 real live people who have special knowledge about this topic or the impact your proposal would have, and summarize their comments. These may include people appearing in your media artifact (video, podcast, etc.).
Prospectus: Damaging Impacts of Food Hunger
In the United States, and more importantly in the state of Michigan, the lack of access and availability of healthy nutritious food is extremely high. Also known as food insecurity, this issue is a significant problem in the state of Michigan, where 15.3% of the population does not have access to a sufficient quantity of affordable and nutritious food. On the other hand, the United States fares a little better where only 12.7% of the entire population is classified as “food insecure”. In order to alleviate this issue food banks have been developed to collect and distribute food. . Even though food banks have dramatically helped people without access, they do not supply enough food for full families to live off of in certain areas. Without this full amount of food, families have to supplement with cheap options that may not be healthy. Many health problems come along with this, one of them being obesity. Michigan struggles with obesity as 32.5% of adults are considered obese, which ranks 10th most in the United States. One of the premier issues that the state of Michigan is dealing with to help address the obesity issue is making sure its residents have access to fresh fruits, vegetables and proteins. In Michigan 1.8 million residents - 300,000 of whom are children - live in communities with limited access to nutritious food. This is particularly worrisome as these families turn to alternatives such as fast food or will even choose to skip meals. When healthy food is readily available, children and adults develop better eating habits and better overall health, including a decreased risk of obesity.
Solution 1: Incentives
One of the ways governments are able to encourage people and companies to contribute to certain causes is through incentive programs. Incentive programs can help businesses make certain types of investments through government provided financial assistance. For this solution, we suggest the government provides grants on a competitive basis to projects that help low-income consumers participating in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) purchase more fresh fruits and produce through cash or tax incentives that increase their purchasing power at locations like farmers markets and grocery stores. These grants would go towards non-profit agencies, such as Food Gatherers in Washtenaw County, government agencies, SNAP authorized retailers, and many other types of organizations.
Solution 2: Law
One way that the Michigan state government could address the issue of food insecurity and the funding of food banks and non-profits is by enacting legislation. We believe that one of the main issues with food insecurity and the many health problems that ensue because of it is the lack of funding for organizations such as Food Gatherers that distribute fresh produce to soup kitchens, and other partner companies. One way this issue could be solved is by creating a place on the state income tax return to allow taxpayers to contribute to certain types of hunger relief funds or non-profits with funding ultimately granted to local food banks. This would make it significantly easier for individuals to donate to food banks and would also enable them to lower their taxes through a deduction on their state taxes.
Solution 3: Summer Programs
Food insecurity is often seasonal for children under the age of 18. Through programs such as the BackPack program, children attending public schools receive free food through the National School Lunch Program and the National School Breakfast Program. These help assist low-income families feed their children with proper nutrients throughout the school year. These supplements are great, however, there are large gaps in the calendar year that children go without food assistance. Our third solution is to enact a law that mandates all food banks provide programs to bridge the gap for hungry children during school vacations. This would enable children to receive the sufficient foods and nutrients to survive without having to resort to unhealthy foods.
Reaction or advice from a Topic Coordinator:
You must solicit a critique from a topic coordinator, and explain the impact that advice has had on the final draft of this proposal.
Describe your research process — indicate who you talked to (including but not limited to consultants), what you read, what your thinking was, how it changed over time, and how your consultants changed your thinking. This description of your research process definitely could include “dead ends,” or ideas you had that didn’t ultimately bear fruit. In short, we want to know what you did and how it led to your legislation, and we also want you to give us a window into your thought process.
Please delineate--in detail--who made what contributions to the process and to the finished proposal? Who took on which responsibilities in researching ideas, drafting language, etc.?
The sections below should comprise your final proposal language, submitted for consideration by your peers and potential inclusion in the MSC Platform.Preambulatory clauses
These set up the PROBLEM, but not the solution.
(Add more "Whereas" clauses if necessary.)Operative clauses
These describe in detail, the solution you are proposing (not the problem itself; those should go in the "Whereas" clauses above).
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED....
(Add more "Resolved" clauses if necessary.)Counter-arguments:
What are three reasonable arguments against this proposal?
3.Costs and funding:
What will your proposal cost (in direct expenses, lost tax revenue, lost economic opportunity, and/or non-monetary costs)? How will you pay for your proposed legislation? Where will/could the funding for your proposal come from? Who might object to dedicating resources to your proposal (competing interests)?
These can include websites or other information you have found about the issue.