Governor’s Food Security Council

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Via Zoom

Minutes (Subject to FSC Approval)

Members Present via Microsoft Teams:  Dr. Phillip Knight (chair), Lewis Roubal (vice-chair), Patrice Brown, Alex Canepa, Kim Edsenga, Juan Escareno, Diana Marin, Dawn Medley, Ken Nobis, Dr. Delicia Pruitt, Tammy Rosa, Michelle Schulte, Laurie Solotorow, Wade Syers, Pam Yager, Diane Golzynski, Jamie Zmitko-Somers

Non-voting Members Present: Brianna Egan (on behalf of Senator Winnie Brinks), Liz Balck (on behalf of Representative Wendzel) Amanda Right (on behalf of Senator Kevin Daley), Chelsea Fraley (on behalf of Representative Witwer)

Members Absent: Amy Baker

Non-voting Members Absent: N/A

Members via Teleconference: Todd Regis

Public Comment: No public comment presented at this meeting.

  • Welcome and Introduction – Dr. Phillip Knight, Chairman of Food Security Council
    • Meeting called to order at 1:02 p.m.
  • Approval of 12-8-20 minutes and 1-12-21 agendaLewis Roubal, Vice-Chair of Food Security Council
    • Motion by Pruitt to approve 12-8-20 FSC meeting minutes and the

1-12-21 agenda supported by Michelle Schulte. Motion unanimously carried.


  • Presentation on the Michigan Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities – Centering Equity, and FSC Q&A – Marijata Daniel-Echols, Program Officer, W.K. Kellogg Foundation
    • Marijata Daniel-Echols explained how the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately impacted communities of color throughout the state of Michigan, representing 40 percent of deaths from COVID-19. The Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities was created to study cases of racial disparities and recommend actionable items to address systemic inequities.
      • Their main focus is how to keep people of color from dying.
    • Marijata Daniel-Echols serves on the Centering Equity Workgroup within the task force, which focuses on policies and programs designed to address racial equity.
      • MDHHS is pilot-testing an Equity Impact Assessment (EIA). The assessment is designed to measure the strength of associations between concepts (e.g. people of color, sexuality) and evaluations (e.g. good, bad) or stereotypes (e.g. clumsy, athletic).
      • The rubric for the EIA is based upon the question ‘What is the racial impact on the decision we are going to make?’
      • The core purpose of the EIA is to build people’s capacity to truly understand social justice.
        • What’s next after implicit bias training?
          • Understanding the Social Determinants of Health (SDoH)
        • Q&A
          • Lew Roubal also shared that the assessment holds the user to the best decision-making process and understand the impact it will have on those directly affected.
        • Alex Canepa asked about the timeline of deliverables for the Racial Disparities taskforce.
          • Marijata Daniel-Echols shared that they have been told that they need actionable recommendations. Action items that they can work on immediately – real time. There are no solid deadlines, just make it happen.


  • Presentation on the Michigan Poverty Task Force and FSC Q&A – Kim Trent, Deputy Director, Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity
  • Kim Trent explained that the Poverty Task Force works to identify and evaluate measures of the scope of poverty’s impact on Michigan families and communities. There is no one solution to solving poverty, we need collaborative efforts. Every state department interfaces with people who are living in poverty, not just MDHHS.
    • There are fourteen state departments represented on Poverty Task Force.
    • Kim Trent shared that their frame is the ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) report. Michigan has the highest ALICE rate in the Midwest.
    • Kim Trent explained that the Task Force focuses on the following work streams:
      • Safe and secure: Safety nets that ensure economic security and quality of life for all.
        • Our safety net in Michigan is poor.
        • Task Force is studying the effectiveness of TANF (Temporary Cash Assistance for Needy Families) funding and distribution.
      • Strong beginnings: We need programs that target children to combat generational poverty.
      • Removing barriers: We need programs that address structural barriers for poor jobseekers.
        • Too often, the state government is building barriers.
      • Providing opportunity: We need programs that offer pathways to jobs and higher income, including higher education.
        • There is no greater anti-poverty tool than higher education.
      • Kim Trent shared the following Poverty Task Force Recommendations that coincide with Food Security:
        • End the asset test for food. Michigan is only 1 of 16 in the nation that do asset test. The Task Force is pushing its elimination.
        • Expand availability of breakfast programs.
        • Expand breakfast after the bell programs.
        • Eliminate reduced price fee for school breakfast and lunch meals (allowing everyone access to breakfast and lunch: universal free meals).
      • Diane Golzynski discussed the role of universal free meals in addressing childhood hunger.
        • Reduced stigma and pain for kids and families.
        • Diane Golzynski asked that Kim Trent consider including universal free meals in the Poverty Task Force recommendations.
      • Phil Knight explained that the Official Poverty Measure (OPM) hasn’t been updated in decades. While ALICE indicates that at least 50% of people who visit food banks are working, the Self-Sufficiency Standard [] takes a much deeper dive, determining the budget needed for 719 different family styles, in each county in Michigan, to be independent.
      • Phil Knight recommends that the Policy workgroup take a hard look at the Official Poverty Measure.
        • He argued that if the Food Security Council doesn’t start the conversation, it will never get started.


  • Workgroup Progress Reports
    • Food Supply/Systems—Co-Chairs: Todd Regis and Jamie Somers-Zmitko
      • Members: Amy Baker, Ken Nobis, Wade Syers and Kath Clark
    • Jamie Somers-Zmitko discussed that the workgroup chose their goals and working on the following deliverables:
      • Focusing on the potential to utilize food supply systems by assisting with the breakdown of volumes and quantities.
      • Who could they partner with that are being underutilized?
      • Processing list of food processors and co-packers.


  • Policies – Co-Chairs: Kim Edsenga and Lew Roubal
    • Member: Anna Almanza
    • Lew Roubal shared the workgroup’s updates:
      • The U of M Ford School graduate students are now participants in the workgroup.
      • Divide and conquering for the policy scan of different policies to address Food Security throughout the nation as well as Michigan.
      • Anna Almanza is working on defining a definition of Food Security.
      • Patrice recommends a policy be put in place to accept WIC at Farmers Market as it is currently not accepted.
    • Special Populations – Co-Chairs: Diana Marin and Tammy Rosa
      • Member: Dawn Medley
      • Tammy Rosa provided the following updates:
        • They have added at-large members to their workgroup.
        • Put together initial goals to address with members.
        • Looking at identifying experts within these populations.
        • They will connect with the Poverty Task Force to discuss access.


  • Racial Disparities – Co-Chairs: Alex Canepa and Patrice Brown
    • Member: Dr. Diane Golzynski
    • Alex Canepa shared that they really took their time on the clarity and scope of the workgroup.
    • Patrice Brown shared that they are delving into the nationwide numbers of Food Security as well as working on speakers for their monthly meetings.


  • Healthcare – Co-Chairs: Laurie Solotorow and Pam Yager
    • Members: Dr. Delicia Pruitt and Dr. Dawn Opel
  • Pam Yager shared that they have brought on Dr. Amy Saxe-Custack (Assistant Professor, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Nutrition Director, Pediatric Public Health Initiative, Michigan State University College of Human Medicine and Anne Scott (Director of Health Center Support, MPCA) as members of the Workgroup.
    • They will be looking at the data to demonstrate the return on investment for food-as-medicine programs.



  • New Business
    • None at this time.


  • Review of next steps and action items
  • Phil Knight shared that this is our chance and encourages everyone to invest their time and treasure into the workgroups!


  • Meeting adjourned at 3:00 p.m.