Detroit Food Deserts: The Importance of Access to Healthy Food

PRE-PROPOSAL 1. Media Artifact

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

Media Artifact by Bella Mattera and Elizabeth James

2. Persona and POV statement

Persona: Persona name: Amy James Age: 44 School/occupation: Secretary at Jones Day law firm Location: Urban Detroit   Quote: My family is everything!   About:
  • Has 3 kids enrolled in public school
  • Has to work overtime 3 days a week usually
  • Divorced from husband when children were young
  • Mother lives nearby and helps watch children after school
  • Lives in condo
  • Find a better job to be able to provide for her children

  • Ensure her children eat breakfast at home, lunch at school, and dinner at home
  • Make more time to run basic household errands
Persona: Persona name: Steve Dinerman Age: 36 School/occupation: In between jobs Location: Detroit   About:
  • Lives in an apartment in Detroit and has a roommate
  • Was let go of job due to budget cuts
  • Dropped out of college due to inability to pay tuition
  • Trying to get into the snow plow business
  • Had to sell his car to pay for rent
  • Have snow plow company take off or find another job
  • Be able to support himself
  • Have a steady income
  • Receive a college degree
POV Statement:
  • User: Amy, a hard working mother of three...
  • Need: Needs to be able to provide more nutritious options for her family...
  • Insight: Because she is concerned about the health consequences of her children's current diet and hopes a new job will help her afford better smarter choices. 


3. Potential Solutions:

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

SOLUTION 1: Insititute an ordinance that the city of Detroit has to have a grocery store that supplies healthy food and fresh produce within walking a certain mile radius of each other. This mile radius is small enough that those living within it can access the grocery store by walking or by public transportation. The grocery store also has to accept food stamps and other government assistance programs. 

SOLUTION 2: Government assistance program for schools that provides a healthy breakfast and lunch options for discounted costs in order to feed the children. The healthy breakfast and lunch should be served every day that the children are in school. Furthermore, families that qualify for food stamps should be able to receive these meals for free. 

SOLUTION 3: Mandate that all schools have a garden or some agricultural space that the children can help keep. This will combine healthy eating with education about how to self-subsist. Each student should be able to access the garden and take home a portion of the healthy food that they planted. 

SOLUTION 4: Mandate that requires all students to take a class on nutrition. This class should include topics such as consequences of obesity, how to maintain a balanced diet, the ways to be healthy for cheap, and the benefits of exercise. 

SOLUTION 5: Workers that are working two or more jobs with families should receive designated break hours with pay. These break hours should correspond with the times that their children are not in school and need to be cared for. 


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.).





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.


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.


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.?


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).





(Add more "Resolved" clauses if necessary.)


What are three reasonable arguments against this proposal?




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.


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Total votes: 11