Amy Ruben and Brianna Diener on Child Hunger

Context

Reference to a current Michigan bill or law that relates in some way to your proposal:

House Bill No. 4327 is the bill we found that most closely relates to our proposal. The bill addresses school code in the state of Michigan. The bill mentions that the Board of Directors of the Public School Academy has adopted a resolution determining that students who meet the income eligibility criteria for free or reduced-priced meals receive preference within their geographic region. The bill helps with the issue of childhood hunger as it ensures that all students that are eligible receive free or reduced-priced meals.

However, we have found that this bill isn’t doing enough as students are still hungry and are not receiving enough food. While this bill sets the preliminary stage for our proposal and helps to address the issue, it doesn’t dive into the severity of the issue and only touches it on the surface. Our proposal offers additional solutions to reduce childhood hunger in schools in addition to the already established free and reduced-priced meals.

http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2017-2018/billintroduced/House/pdf/2017-HIB-4327.pdf

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:

Every child across all ages should be given the opportunity to live healthy adulthoods and succeed in life. In order for children to have stable adulthoods and succeed in life, they need to receive at least a certain level of education. However, if students go to school hungry, it highly affects their ability to learn and retain information. This would lead children to not receiving the education that they need in order to succeed later in life. Reducing childhood hunger in schools across the state of Michigan would make a lasting impact in the lives of all students that arrive and leave school hungry. By normalizing “ugly food” and by providing students with these types of foods throughout the school day, students will have a greater chance of performing better in the classroom and avoid the negative side effects that come from a lack of food. Just like books in library are seen as necessary in schools, we believe that access to more food and food education is necessary as well.

How and where did you learn about the issues underlying your proposal?

The caucus discussions allowed for us to broaden our knowledge and learn about issues that children are facing throughout the state of Michigan. We didn’t realize the severity of this issue prior to this course. There are many interesting topics discussed but childhood hunger and the lack of education quality in Michigan really peaked our interest. As we continued to read the discussion thread about childhood hunger, and contributed our own comments by researching the topic, we learned how pressing of an issue this is and wanted to learn more about it. We began researching on many different websites and found out the many negative effects childhood hunger has on education. This led us to choose the issue that childhood hunger harms education. In Michigan, the quality of education already needs improvement, but even if the quality of education is improved, nothing will matter if children are hungry and aren’t able to learn. Therefore, we believe that the issue of childhood hunger is an extremely pressing issue that needs to end so that students are able to learn in a classroom and gain the education that they need in order to be able to thrive in society.

How has your service activity influenced your thinking about this proposal?

We both volunteered at the Boys and Girls Club for our service activity. Volunteering here highly influenced our thinking about the proposal because we received information directly from the children who attended this club. These children attended various schools throughout Michigan and all their school meals were set up differently. These children shared with us that everyone at their schools receive free lunches. How it works is that they go up and have to type in their student ID number so the school keeps track of who is receiving food so that no student takes too much food as then there won’t be enough for everyone. The children then shared with us that they are given a very little amount of food and are often times still hungry after they eat their lunch. Although they receive enough food to hold them over, we believe that snacks during the day are necessary as well. After hearing this from the children at the Boys and Girls Club, we realized how pressing of an issue childhood hunger is and that there must be a solution to end this. Talking with these children influenced us as it allowed us to speak first hand with the students that are going through the school system in Michigan and learn about their experiences. We also had the opportunity to speak to the staff at the Boy and Girls Club, one of which we used as a consultation, who gave us more insight on childhood hunger in the schools that they work at and overall trends that they have noticed. Our service activity heavily influenced our thinking for this proposal.

Link to your media artifact(s) giving background on the issue:

Our facsimile newspaper front page issue of child hunger: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-3qrJlU1092aUJCZ0dIV2JBazA/view?usp=sharing

 

Consultations

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.).

CONSULTATION 1: Frank Rigger, Director of Boys & Girls Club of Southeastern Michigan

Frank Rigger has been working for the Boys & Girls Club for over 40 years, giving him the opportunity to interact with hundreds of different students and families from schools all across the state of Michigan. We asked Frank his experience and knowledge about the issue of hunger in schools. Frank told us that he hears the students in the club complain about being hungry and their school meals every single day. Additionally, the club offers food at a reduced price for their members. Frank shared how the club has to restock on food every morning because of the high amounts being consumed by children, illustrating the lack of food they must be receiving during school hours. Students typically arrive around 3:00 pm, indicating that their lunch doesn’t even hold them over until then. Frank also noted that the club offers lunch during the summer to its members because most of their schools do not have that option. We also asked him if he thought dinner options in schools were a viable solution. We thought that this solution wouldn’t be viable because parents might present push back saying that schools are taking up too much of their child's’ time. Frank told us that with the many parents he has met and talked to, they would be more than happy for their children to receive dinner from their schools and not offended. Frank agrees that many children he has seen are often hungry and need more food throughout their day. Therefore, he agreed that normalizing “ugly food” and providing these snacks at school is a great solution. Our consultation with Frank showed us the importance of our proposal and how it can make a true difference in the lives of students in Michigan.

CONSULTATION 2: Cory Savino, Department of Education Fiscal Analyst 

Cory Savino currently works for the Michigan State Senate Fiscal Agency as a Fiscal Analyst in K-12 Education. He also graduated from Michigan State University with a Masters in K-12 Education Administration and Public Policy, making him a great consultation. We wanted to reach out to Cory to see if any proposals similar to ours had passed by his desk, and if a fiscal analysis had been done on one. He informed us that he has not seen any bills on childhood hunger in the school system pass by his desk. When asking these questions, he said that the state takes the free and reduced lunch program from federal funds and distributes them down to the schools. We then shared with him that children are still hungry even with these meals. He said that he was aware of this issue, but that no bill had been passed by his desk addressing it. He said the things he has seen are an increase in nutrition for the lunch program by providing more fruits and vegetables. Additionally, Corey said that he was unsure if a bill would come up anytime soon, but that he would anticipate push back from the state legislators if it required a large amount of funding, since their primary focus is on academic improvement.  This showed us that the State Senate Fiscal Agency is aware that children are hungry in the school system, yet no recent action has been taken. This proved the importance of our proposal.

 

CONSULTATION 3: Kait Skwir, Director of Nutrition and Outreach for the Food Bank Council of Michigan

We consulted with Kait to ask a few questions about the Michigan Agricultural Surplus System. We asked if it were possible for MASS to partner with schools in order to help with the issue of childhood hunger in the school system. She explained to us that the Food Bank Council of Michigan administers the MASS program out of their office and that food banks purchase produce with the MASS funding. In other words, food is able to be purchased in large quantities for a small amount of money through the MASS program which is funded by the state government. The Food Bank Council of Michigan only gives food directly to food banks. Food banks may distribute food as they see fit, so they may partner with schools or churches who are part of their agency network. Food Banks can also give food to children through backpack programs by providing students with food to take home with them after school hours or on the weekends. Kait told us that she believes our solution to be feasible because the food banks that they serve would likely donate “ugly produce” to schools.

Prospectus:

Describe the specific issue or problem, being sure to provide sufficient context so that someone less familiar with the issue has a sense of the bigger picture, but know that your focus here is on a more detailed spelling out of the specific problem or issue that you’ve identified. (250 words minimum)

The issue of childhood hunger in the state of Michigan must be addressed in order for children to have the opportunity to have a stable adulthood. Childhood hunger has been a pressing issue for years; however, many people don’t know the extent of this issue or the amount of children who go throughout their days wondering when they’re going to be able to eat their next meal. Some of the causes for childhood hunger include unemployment, lack of knowledge, inadequate state aid, poor resource management, and pride. According to Kids Count in Michigan, over 46% of students are eligible for free or reduced-priced school lunches. Of those students, 42% live in Wayne County, Oakland, Monroe, Macomb, and Livingston. In order to be eligible to receive reduced-price lunches, students must live in a family of four with an income of $44,000; in order to be eligible for free lunches, students must live in a household with an income of $31,000 or less for a family of four. While students receive these lunches at school, there is no guarantee that they are receiving an adequate amount of food once they leave school. Furthermore, only 13% of the students receiving this aid throughout the school year participated in the Summer Food Service Program, indicating that so many children were left without enough food to eat throughout the summer months. Regardless of income or being from a family that lives in poverty, no child should be left hungry or not have an adequate amount of food to eat. Not only is this heartbreaking, but childhood hunger could lead to severe repercussions in the future.

In the first three years of their life, children undergo rapid brain development. Lack of nutrients during this time period can result in “lasting deficits in cognitive, social, and emotional development” (APA). In this case, children are already at a disadvantage to having a stable adulthood. According to Feeding America, childhood hunger can have a huge impact on development. Undernourished children are more likely to get sick and recover from illness more slowly. Additionally, undernourished children require hospitalization more often, which can be very costly. Children who experience hunger are more susceptible to chronic health conditions, such as anemia and asthma, as well as mental health problems and homelessness. These are issues that will follow children into their adulthood and that will highly distract them from being able to take advantage of the education that they receive when they are children. Without this knowledge, it will be hard for children to be self sufficient adults creating an unforgiving cycle.

In order for children to be prepared to have a stable adulthood, they must receive a good education in their developing years to learn the skills and tools needed for them to prosper when they are older. In the state of Michigan, the quality of education is lacking and is far behind the quality in many states throughout the country. While this puts students in Michigan already at a disadvantage, being hungry largely impacts children's ability to learn and receive a proper education. This inability is due to the fact that hunger has both physical and psychological effects that make it increasingly difficult to learn. Seventy percent of a child's brain develops within the first two years of their lives. If the child is experiencing severe malnourishment during this time period, it is likely that their brain will be permanently damaged. Furthermore, in order for students to be actively engaged in a classroom, they must have energy as the brain cannot function properly without it. Students also need this energy to remain awake in the classroom. Studies have shown that malnutrition has led to a lack of sleep and messes with sleeping schedules. This can cause children to not have enough energy to remain awake during school hours, meaning that they won’t be able to be actively engaged or learn in the classroom. Not only does hunger affect child development and growth, it also affects a child’s behavior. When students are hungry, they are prone to depression, anxiety, and withdrawal. Hunger is also linked with poor social and emotional behavior. According to the World Health Organization, since these children are often without energy, they don’t spend their time socializing with other kids, which impairs their physical, mental, and cognitive development. The World Health Organization also identifies a correlation between nutrient deficiency and neurological disorders. Additionally, when children are hungry they display more aggression, hyperactivity, mood swings and bullying in classroom settings. All of these effects lead to children not the adequate education that they require to succeed in the future.

Childhood hunger is clearly a huge problem in the state of Michigan. We must be proactive and come up with solutions to solve this issue so that every child can escape this unforgiving cycle and have stable adulthoods.


Sources:

http://www.feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america/impact-of-hunger/child-hunger/child-development.html

https://www.apa.org/pi/families/poverty.aspx

http://www.hungerfreesummer.org/child-hunger-michigan

http://www.gcfb.org/know_more_hunger_facts

https://borgenproject.org/effects-of-hunger-on-education/

https://www.30hourfamine.org/2011/11/affect-of-hunger-the-brain/

http://www.rappler.com/move-ph/50290-hunger-child-behavior

  Potential Solutions:

Describe three reasonable, feasible potential solutions or approaches that would help address this problem.

SOLUTION 1: 

Normalize “Ugly Food”- Currently, “ugly food” (food not considered aesthetically pleasing), is not consumed because of the unrealistic cosmetic standards consumers create. We recommend implementing a curriculum in public schools in the state of Michigan that emphasizes the value of “ugly food” and normalizes its consumption among consumers. This way, children will grow up knowing that these foods are part of the status-quo and acceptable to eat, which will ultimately decrease childhood hunger. This program can be structured mimicking the way D.A.R.E., which teaches students decision making for safe and healthy living, is currently structured in Michigan public schools. Children should be taught about the Michigan Agricultural Surplus System (MASS), an innovative partnership between Michigan food banks, Michigan farmers, and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. MASS works to bring unmarketable, yet nutritious agricultural surplus for Michigan food banks. Students should know about these programs and understand that they are a great way to solve the issue of hunger. Awareness through education of this program, and awareness of wasted “ugly food” has the ability to make a change and decrease childhood hunger in the future. This implementation through the educational system can cause children to receive food, and therefore diminish the chances of them experiencing the issues that arise from being hungry during school.

 

SOLUTION 2:

Option of school meals during summer- One of the root causes of childhood hunger stems from insufficient meals during the summer months, affecting their education. According to Feeding America, the main reasons for childhood hunger during the summer months include a lack of access to meal sights, insufficient program awareness, and limited resources due to the closing of schools. We propose that public schools in the state of Michigan offer free or reduced-priced meal plans in the summer to the same students who qualify for them during the school year. Our recommendation would be for public schools to open everyday of the week during lunch time to ensure that their students don’t go hungry. This will help the students so that they are fed and will help the children’s performance in school. They’ll have more energy in the Fall, as they’ll be more rested and be at less risk for developing the many other psychological and physical effects that hunger could cause them throughout these months. This will not only help children’s ability to learn and quality of education in the Fall, it will enhance the school's reputation as well as increasing student performance in the classroom.

SOLUTION 3: 

Offering dinner meal plans to students- We recommend that public schools in Michigan offer free or reduced-price dinners during the school year for students who qualify. Currently, Michigan is one of 13 states that gets reimbursed for providing dinner at after-school programs in low-income areas. Within the Michigan Department of Education, there is a school breakfast program, smart snacks in school program, national lunch program, special milk/summer camp program, summer food service program, Michigan farm to school program, fresh fruit and vegetable program, and a team nutrition program. However, none of these programs have to do with providing hungry students with dinner. If students are eligible for free or reduced-price breakfast, lunch, and snacks, it is highly likely that they do not come from families who have enough income to provide these students with an adequate dinner. Therefore, we are recommending that the state of Michigan incorporate a program into the Michigan Department of Education that directly deals with the issue of students not having dinner and that provides students with free or reduced-priced dinners. Although some schools have already implemented programs similar to this, it is not directly stated in the Michigan Department of Education, something we believe is necessary. Therefore, we believe that it should become a law that all schools are required to offer free or reduced-priced meals to eligible students so that students do not spend their nights hungry. This will increase students productivity and ability to learn and will largely affect their ability to receive a good education.


Sources: 

http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/benefits-eating-breakfast-students-7697.html

http://www.michigan.gov/mde/0,4615,7-140-66254_50144-194515--,00.html

http://www.feedingamerica.org/about-us/helping-hungry-children/summer-food-service-program/?referrer=https://www.google.com/

http://fbcmich.org/programs/michigan-agricultural-surplus-system

https://www.dare.org/michigan/

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.

We met with Kayla Schwartz who is a topic coordinator under child and youth hunger. We met with her when working on finding three potential solutions for our issue. Kayla was extremely helpful as she critiqued us on our issue. Initially, we had our issue defined as childhood hunger and it was very broad. Kayla helped us narrow down this down and state that our problem is that childhood hunger harms education. This was really helpful as it changed our solutions to solutions that can be fixed in schools, rather than solutions that could be possible outside of the school system. Without her critique, we would’ve left our proposal to be far too broad and not narrow in on an issue. Her critique allowed for us to shape our proposal and come up with solutions that can be implemented through the school system. Then, we had a phone call with JG McDowell who helped us with come up with ideas of who we can speak to for consultations. We were having trouble with these as we weren’t getting responses from emails we had sent, but he helped us figure out different ways to reach people and come up with ideas of who to reach out to. He also critiqued our solution to “normalize” hungry foods by saying that just normalizing them won’t do enough. This caused us to enhance this solution to not only normalize it, but to have this type of food brought into schools so children can eat them as a snack when they get hungry mid day. Our talks with Kayla and JG highly impacted our final draft of this proposal as they caused us to change our way of thinking about our problem and solutions.

Research process:

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.

Reading about childhood hunger on various discussions on the Michigan Student Caucus website is what initially led us to begin researching this topic. We started by researching the general topic of childhood hunger. We found a lot of shocking information regarding the effects of hunger on a child’s performance in school, which is what led our prospectus to highly discuss hunger of children's education. After meeting with topic coordinator Kayla Schwartz, we decided to narrow down our issue to the effects childhood hunger has on education. While we did independent research on the educational system and the role of free and reduced priced meals, we also consulted with experts in the field. We both completed our service requirement at the Boys & Girls Club, where we had the opportunity to consult with Frank Rigger, the club director, as well as the other staff and all of the students. Not surprisingly, the students were able to provide us with a lot of valuable information. One of the students in particular, informed us about the quality and quantity of food she was receiving through the free and reduced price programs. Previously, we had just assumed that not enough students were qualifying for these programs, but speaking with this student led us to the realization that most students in her district and school do qualify for the programs, they are just still hungry and not satisfied even after they have been given a meal. From all of our conversations at the Boys & Girls club we were able to expand our research and learn more about MASS, food banks, dinner meal plans, and their feasibility. After the town hall with Rebecca DeVooght, we were advised to consult with Cory Savino, the fiscal analyst for the Department of Education in Michigan. This consultation with Cory led us to do more research on previous bills relating to our proposal to try to find a cost value. This proved very difficult, especially because Cory informed us that he himself has not seen a similar proposal recently, meaning that no fiscal analysis had been done on the issue yet. This dead end led us to turn towards focusing on the solution of normalizing “ugly foods” and we began thinking of ways to implement this. We then spoke to a caucus instructor Jay McDowell who told us that simply normalizing ugly foods isn’t a strong enough solution, but that we should come up with a way to get this food into the school system.

The Michigan Agricultural Surplus System (MASS) was brought up on the student caucus and peaked our interest. We decided that this would be a great partnership for schools and a great way to help with the issue of childhood hunger in schools. The MASS is a partnership between Michigan food banks, Michigan farmers, and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Since 1990, MASS has been funded by a grant from the Michigan Department of Agriculture which has worked to procure unmarketable, yet nutritious agricultural surplus for Michigan food banks. We thought a great solution would be to implement MASS into the school system. Then, we had a consultation with Kait Skwir, director of nutrition and outreach for the food bank of Michigan who changed our way of thinking and challenged our idea. She explained that MASS is overseen by the Food Bank Council of Michigan,that this food is only able to be distributed to food banks, not to schools. However, she told us that the food banks could directly donate this food to schools in order to help with our issue. This led us to research more about MASS to find out exactly how it works. There are 6 steps to this process. First, the grower of unmarketable products contacts the Food Bank Council of Michigan when surplus of B- grade product becomes available. The second step is that the FBCM assesses product demand and usability in the food bank network. The third step is the FBCM and grower agree on harvest date and if necessary, FBCM arranges for the transportation of product to a regional food bank. Fourth, product is delivered to regional food banks, fifth, regional food banks distribute to local pantries soup kitchens and churches, and sixth, food is given to Michigan families who are hungry. This led us to our solution that in step five, food can be distributed to schools as well as the other locations where they are being distributed. Our thought process changed drastically from the beginning to the end of the semester, leading us to create a strong proposal very different from the one we had anticipated.

Sources:

http://house.michigan.gov/hfa/PDF/HumanServices/DHS_2-19-14Mtg_Testimony_MASS.pdf

 

 

Author contributions:

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.?

After both having been in many group projects, we understand the challenges and hardships that could arise when working with others. Splitting up individuals to research and write their own parts could lead to a paper or proposal sounding like two differently voices, or even both people doing the same research, hence wasting time and not having enough varying sources and ideas. Therefore, we made a crucial effort to sit down together to research and write all aspects of this proposal together. This began with the media artifact. We took a great deal of time to figure out what topic we wanted to do and decided to do childhood hunger. We then decided to make a news article where we worked on it on a google doc. In order to work on this together, we came up with topics together and organized the media artifact. Then, we split up different topics under the media artifact to research. Brianna researched how childhood hunger affects education while Amy researched why children are hungry and the future repercussions of this. After dividing up the research, we sat together to format the news article and to put in our research together. We put our research into bullet points so that we were able to write it together so it sounded as one cohesive voice and to not write the same thing twice. We both uploaded pictures after looking through pictures online together.

We then met multiple times to work on the prospectus. For this, Amy continued to research more root causes of childhood hunger and statistics on how many children qualify for free or reduced priced meal, eligibility requirements, and where these students are located throughout the state of Michigan. Brianna researched the physical and mental health issues that stem from childhood hunger and how it affects children’s brain development. After we both did our research, we brought it together in order to write the prospectus in one coherent voice that flowed well together.

After this, we began brainstorming three potential solutions. After thinking of these, Brianna met with topic coordinator, Kayla Schwartz who provided great feedback and helped us narrow in our problem to focus on how childhood hunger affects education instead of just childhood hunger. This helped us shape our three potential solutions to be solutions that could be implemented in the educational system. After we came up with three solutions, Brianna researched summer meal programs for students and Amy researched dinner meal programs for students. We both shared our research on a google doc and then wrote these out together. We then realized that normalizing ugly food would be a great way to help this issue. We both individually researched ugly food and put our research on a google doc. Amy brought up the idea of D.A.R.E. as she had seen it in her High School and Brianna brought up Michigan Agricultural Surplus System as she had researched it for caucus discussions. We then put our work together and wrote out the solution.

We thought it would be a good idea to do our service project together to both learn from this and have the service activity help in our proposal. Amy had the consultation with Frank, while Brianna volunteered with the students. We than sat together and called our two other consultations on speaker phone so we were both able to ask questions together.

After this, we sat together to fill out the rest of the proposal. We both tackled each question together by first outlining what we wanted to say together. After it was outlined, we split up who typed up which parts. We then both edited each others’ parts to make sure everything was included. In all, we both worked on this proposal together at all stages of the process.

  ===FORMAL PROPOSAL===

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.

WHEREAS.... According to Kids Count in Michigan, over 46% of students are eligible for free or reduced-priced school lunches throughout the state. Only 13% of the students receiving this aid throughout the school year participated in the Summer Food Service Program, indicating that so many children were left without enough food to eat throughout the summer months. Many of these students also don’t receive breakfast or dinner and spend their mornings and nights hungry.

WHEREAS.... Although children receive free and reduced lunches, Michigan children have expressed that they get the bare minimum amount of food to make it throughout the day and that they are still hungry after they eat their free lunch.

WHEREAS....In the first three years of their life, children undergo rapid brain development. Lack of nutrients during this time period can result in “lasting deficits in cognitive, social, and emotional development” (APA). According to the World Health Organization, since hungry children are often without energy, they don’t spend their time socializing with other kids, which impairs their physical, mental, and cognitive development. A correlation between nutrient deficiency and neurological disorders as well as aggression and anger disorders has also been established.

WHEREAS…In order for children to be prepared to have a stable adulthood, they must receive a good education in their developing years to learn the skills and tools needed for them to prosper when they are older. In the state of Michigan, the quality of education is lacking and is far behind the quality in many states throughout the country. While this puts students in Michigan already at a disadvantage, being hungry largely impacts children's ability to learn and receive a proper education. This inability is due to the fact that hunger has both physical and psychological effects that make it increasingly difficult to learn.

(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....

1. Implementing a curriculum in public schools in the state of Michigan that emphasizes the value of “ugly food” and normalizes its consumption among consumers. This way, children will grow up knowing that these foods are part of the status-quo and acceptable to eat, which will ultimately decrease childhood hunger.

2. Increase budget allocated for the Michigan Deparment of Agriculture which funds the Michigan Agricultural Surplus System (MASS), an innovative partnership between Michigan food banks, Michigan farmers, and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. MASS donates "ugly food" this to food banks, so by increasing the Department of Agriculture's funds, food banks will have more food and could donate to schools. 

3. Since MASS cannot donate directly to schools because it is under the Food Bank Council of Michigan, encourage food banks to donate a portion of their food supply provided by MASS to schools.

4. Have schools implement stations throughout school so that children are able to receive snacks as they see needed throughout the day since the amount of lunch received isn’t enough for children.

(Add more "Resolved" clauses if necessary.)

Counter-arguments:

What are three reasonable arguments against this proposal?

1. The primary focus for the Education Department in Michigan is currently on academic improvement, meaning we can anticipate push back from legislators. If the state government is going to increase its funding, it should go towards improving the quality of education before it focuses on other aspects of the educational system.

2.The Michigan Department of Agriculture isn’t capable of providing more funds to MASS. The Michigan Department of Agriculture receives its funds from the state. The state won’t be able to receive more revenue because it is very difficult to increase state taxes.

3. Increasing the amount of food given to students could potentially result in an increase in food waste if children choose to not eat “ugly” food. Children might not want to eat this food or feel embarrassed to eat snacks that are “ugly” causing this food to go uneaten.

4. If funds are going to be increased to go towards feeding children more throughout the school day, then why provide students with snacks instead of pushing for even more funding to increase the amount of food students receive during lunch, breakfast and/or dinner.

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)?  

For Fiscal Year 2016, the government activities expenses totalled $52.5 billion in the state of Michigan. Of this, 30.4% was allocated towards education, 35.5% towards health services, 9.6% towards human services, 5.1% towards public safety & construction, 6.5% towards transportation, 5.8% towards general government, 1.3% towards tax credits, 2.3% towards revenue sharing, 1.4% towards labor, commerce & regulatory, and 1.4% towards conservation, recreation, and agriculture. This means that $735,000,000 was allocated towards conservation, recreation, and agriculture. If this is increased, even by 0.1%, this would total an increase of $735,000. A majority of this money should be allocated towards the agriculture portion which can increase funds towards to the Michigan Department of Agriculture so that they can donate more money to MASS. MASS will then be able to donate more to food banks and then these food banks will be able to donate to local schools.

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/budget/CAFR_FY_2016_550912_7.pdf

References:

These can include websites or other information you have found about the issue.

http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2017-2018/billintroduced/House/pdf/2017-HIB-4327.pd

http://www.feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america/impact-of-hunger/child-hunger/child-development.html

https://www.apa.org/pi/families/poverty.aspx

http://www.hungerfreesummer.org/child-hunger-michigan

http://www.gcfb.org/know_more_hunger_facts

https://borgenproject.org/effects-of-hunger-on-education/

https://www.30hourfamine.org/2011/11/affect-of-hunger-the-brain/

http://www.rappler.com/move-ph/50290-hunger-child-behavior

http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/benefits-eating-breakfast-students-7697.html

http://www.michigan.gov/mde/0,4615,7-140-66254_50144-194515--,00.html

http://www.feedingamerica.org/about-us/helping-hungry-children/summer-food-service-program/?referrer=https://www.google.com/

http://fbcmich.org/programs/michigan-agricultural-surplus-system

https://www.dare.org/michigan/

http://house.michigan.gov/hfa/PDF/HumanServices/DHS_2-19-14Mtg_Testimony_MASS.pdf

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/budget/CAFR_FY_2016_550912_7.pdf


 

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Total votes: 43

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