Hunger in Michigan




  Media Artifact: Infographic 2. Persona and POV statement Persona: Zach Elbaum and Matthieu Sarrola Item #2: Pre-proposal    Name: Kerry Provizer Age: 55    Mother of three kids aged 17, 22, and 22   Temple cooridnator   "Having to feed a family of five that all are big eaters can pose a lot of challenges for our family. Food reprsents a massive expense and is sometimes difficult to keep everyone happy ."   About:
  • Her husband is a truck driver 
  • Has twins that go to the University of Michigan
  • Volunteers at temple 
  • Make sure children are motivated and have tools for sucess 
  • Ensure local Temple community is strong
  • Visit her kids at school more

POV Statement: Kerry, a determined mother of three, needs to find a way cheaper way to feed her large family, while allowing them to continue their current eating habits. 

Solution 1: Food Drive

One potential solution that can help alleviate hunger in Michigan is a food drive. Food drives serve a valuable purpose within communities as it can help re-distribute food to families in need. Having taken part in many food drives and active in Michigan community, I believe that we efficiently and effectively organize a food drive to help our neighboring community.


Solution 2: Portion Control Lessons 

A problem for many Americans these days is portion control and dieting. Often people do not plan out their meals/meal budget for the upcoming week/month and it results in overeating every two weeks when people get paychecks, and going the rest of the week hungry. We plan to inform families who identify as struggling meal budgeters on how they can implement cost savings and healthy eating habits.


Solution 3:  Put surplus food to better use

Finally, we plan to inform well off families how they can make better use of all their surplus food. We also plan on talking to the University about potentially letting us take some surplus food from the cafeterias and donate to those who need it. We know Zingermans has been a staple in the Ann Arbor food community for decades and we plan to talk to them about what they do with surplus food. 

Research Process: 

Our initial research started through google. Matthieu and I found many articles depicting hunger in the United States, and specifically in the state of Michigan. We found that many young children are impacted by a lack of food. We talked to many families in various communities throughout the state asking them about their experience with food/hunger and found that even families that can not afford to be wasteful often are. We decided to conduct survey and sent it to various people in Michigan. From this survey we gathered a lot of useful information and concluded that it would be most beneficial to implement a program revolved food conservation and good eating habits. In conclusion, we want to try and help our community and those in need so they do not have nights where they go to bed hungry.  


Preambulatory Clauses: 

WHEREAS... 49 million Americans struggle with hunger every year

WHEREAS... 377,177 children in south East Michigan are at risk

WHEREAS... In Michigan, over 770,000 children are part of the federal lunch program

WHEREAS... one of every 5 children in the US is at risk of hunger

WHEREAS... 1/6 highschoolers reported being hungry at some point throughout their day (from our survey)

WHEREAS.. 1/7 Michiganians, about 15% of the state's population is food insecure


1) Create a government funded program that teaches children and young adults how to properly ration and buy food. In addition, the classes will focus on which foods last longer and conservation techniques. 

2) Implement a class for students in Michigan for kids in elementary school where they are taught proper food usage and how one can reduce food costs by growing and producing their own food. 

3) Fund an ad campaign on TV / billaboards that emphasize how to but also the importance of properly conserving food.


1) Julie A. Stocks is a University of Michigan nutritionist who focuses on proper food intake. We talked to her about our proposal centering around education for youth about how to conserve food, and she agreed that food budgeting and planning is a massive problem throughout the state. She also indicated that state sponsored classes would provide a huge boost for the public as the next generation would grow up knowing how to be responsible with food.

2) Sam Seckler is a junior at the Univeristy of Michigan studying environmental sustainibility. We talked to him about if he thought implenting an education program around food conservation would work. He admitted to not knowing very much about cost of putting together such a program, but mentioned that other states have implemented similar programs with solid track record of sucess. 

3) Phil Ting is an assembly member of the California enviornmental legislative caucus. He has experienence with the finances behind legislative bills in the enviornmental sector and indicated that it would be feasible to fund a mandatory program revolved around food conservation. One thing he mentioned is that it would take a lot of time to get a program like this implemented state wide. We would most likely have to test out the classes and see how the community responds to them first. 

Research Process

When Zach and I first created our media artifact, we were concerned about how many families in the United States, especially in the state of Michigan have limited access to food. After consulting with many people, we decided to come up with 3 solutions: a food drive, portion control lessons, and putting surplus food to better use. After discussing with Michael Fahy for some time, he told us it was not possible to implement legislature on food drives and that it was something we could do ourselves. We conducted a food drive for Food Gathers to help families in need but did not pursue this as our main solution. Instead, we decided to follow through with our second solution which was to implement mandatory classes on portion control for elementary school kids. When we first did our media artificat, we found out that over 49 million Americans struggled with hunger. 15% of the Michigan's population is food insecure and 1/4 Michiganians are food insecure. After realizing that many  families in Michigan lack the resources to properly feed their family, we knew we had to take action. We consulted with Julie Stocks, a nutrionist who focusses on proper food intake, and she agreed with us that children in Michigan need to take a class on about conserving food. Talking with Julie helped us a lot for our proposal and she gave us valuable insight into what we should do. In addition, we were able to get in touch with Sam Seckler who is a Junior studying Environmental sustainability. Although he was not very sure about the cost of the whole program, he also though that it would be a great idea to implement these programs throughout elemtary schools. Talking with Julie helped us a lot for our proposal and she gave us valuable insight into what we should do. In addition, we were able to get in touch with Sam Seckler who is a Junior studying Environmental sustainability. Although he was not very sure about the cost of the whole program, he also though that it would be a great idea to implement these programs throughout elemtary schools. Lastly, we were able to get in contact with Phil Ting, an assembly member of the California legislative caucus. He told us that he had a lot of experience with the finances behind legislative bills and that it would be very possible to implement these classes. However, he mentioned that it would take a long time to get a program like this implemented but it would be a good idea for the state of Michigan / every other state that is having this problem. In conclusion, after coming up with many different solutions to this problem, we figured that implementing portion control and food conservation classes would be the best solution in order for families to be better off. 

Cost and Funding:

School districts would have to reallocate money and use some of it to fund these food conservation education programs. The cost for these programs would not be very high, as all it requires is a part time teacher that is used once a week. Another positive to our proposal is that taxpayers would not have to pay extra money in order for this program to work, making it more likely that the public would support it. The only difficult part is determining which departments schools can afford to cut funding in. By investing in food conservation education for kids throughout the state, the government can ensure the next generation will not be as wasteful and food insecure as the people of today.

Counter Arguments

1) A program like this would take too long to implement and school districts may not want to teach these kids these classes. 

2) Less wealthy school districts might want to spend their money on something else instead of teaching these classes. 

Therefore it be resolved

  1. Schools throughout the state have to teach food conservation classes to middle school kids once a week for at least one semester.
  2. Each school district will allocate 5% of school funding to school conservation education.
  3. Each student will be required to complete 10 hours of food conservation community service that helps get food to those in need


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Total votes: 5