Food Insecurity in Michigan


1. Media Artifact

Link to media artifact(s) giving background on the issue. Please list the title of the artifact(s) and then make the title(s) a link to the page in the MSC site where the artifact has been posted. You may include media artifacts made by other MSC members, if relevant, even if they are not authors of this proposal.


2. Persona and POV statement

Persona: The issue: An increasing amount of homeless and poverty-stricken individuals in Michigan face food insecurity

Persona name:  Andres Gonzales 

Age: 45

School/occupation: Currently unemployed/ in between jobs

Location: Detroit, Michigan   

Quote: “I want to be able to consistently provide for my family”


  • Migrated to Michigan from Mexico in hopes of a better future for himself and his family..

  • Currently going to his local Food Gatherers and other various food banks for meals

  • Has a young infant that is currently being seen for malnutrition

  • Recently laid off from his construction worker job and is currently on the lookout for a new one

  • Goals:

  • Find a stable job and earn enough to provide clean, nutritious meals for his family

  • Become proficient at English so that he can find a job with better job security

  • Educate himself on proper nutrition so that his daughter does not sustain any long-term health problems


POV Statement:

User: Andres, an earnest and poverty stricken immigrant struggling with food insecurity and other poverty issues

Need: Reliable access to sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious  food 

Insight: in order to allow him to pursue a better life in the United States, so that he can get a stable job to escape poverty and food insecurity that his family has faced since they immigrated.



3. Potential Solutions:

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

SOLUTION 1: Start community gardens in local neighborhoods to increase access to fresh foods, and create a sustainable environment to improve dietary habits 

SOLUTION 2: Raise awareness about resources for food availabilities with apps such as Sheltr and Strappd 

SOLUTION 3: Provide more of an incentive for people to donate food such as groceries discounts for donating. Much much more feasible in terms of cost than just increasing funding for the existing food banks. 




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:

This proposal would make a huge difference because it helps improve a commonly overlooked problem in food insecurity. This would help meet an essential human need for a lot of people, especially those in the lower income bracket. It will alleviate the extremely high amounts of pressure put on food banks such as Food Gatherers to provide enough meals for the people coming to them since their resources are already more than strained. Solutions like the community gardens will make sure that a food kitchen is no longer their only or primary source of food. This would make people more hopeful about their living situation in regards to food. Moreover, it will ease a lot of stress that they may have about nutrition since due to expensive diets in countys like Washtenaw, an inexpensive low-quality diet is often the only option.  

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

I first learned of this issue reading an article written by a doctorate student at Michigan where I found a crazy finding about food insecurity: In 2015, 45 percent of University of Michigan students experienced food insecurity at some point that year. This was shocking to me since college students have some of the best resources available to them relative to the general population. This made me want to investigate this issue for the caucus and in conjunction with my service activity, I was set on finding out more.  

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

Volunteering at Food Gatherers has allowed me to speak with people that are more educated and informed of this issue. They explained to me that food insecurity wasn't necessarily just about getting enough food but it was just as much about nutrition. I was purely thinking of solutions based on increasing supply of food but not quality prior to this. Being able to see the resources that they have firsthand both in the soup kitchen and the food storage area was also extremely eye-opening. It really proved to me that this was not a viable permanent solution and there is an extreme over reliance on centers like Food Gatherers. 

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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