Governor’s Food Security Council

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

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

Via Zoom

Minutes (Subject to FSC Approval)

Members Present via Zoom:  Dr. Phillip Knight (chair), Lewis Roubal (vice-chair), Patrice Brown, Alex Canepa, Juan Escareno, Diana Marin, Dawn Medley, Steffany Muirhead, Ken Nobis, Tammy Rosa, Laurie Solotorow, Wade Syers, Pam Yager, and Jamie Somers-Zmitko

Non-voting Members Present: Brianna Egan (on behalf of Senator Winnie Brinks), Chelsea Fraley (on behalf of Representative Witwer), Senator Daley

Members Absent: Dr. Delicia Pruitt, Michelle Schulte

Non-voting Members Absent: Representative Wendzel

Members via Teleconference: Todd Regis

Public Comment: 


  • Welcome and Introduction – Dr. Phillip Knight, Chairman of Food Security Council
    • Meeting called to order at 1:00 p.m. by Lew Roubal
  • Approval of 3-9-21 minutes and 4-19-21 agendaLewis Roubal, Vice-Chair of Food Security Council
    • Motion by Patrice Brown to approve 3-9-21 FSC meeting minutes and the 4-13-21 agenda, supported by Dr. Diane Golzynski. Motion unanimously carried.


  • Presentation on the Household Impact Model, and FSC Q&A – Gerry Brisson, president and CEO of Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan
    • Gerry Brisson explained that when people get food from food banks, the first benefit is revenue to the household. The household impact model measures the following:
      • Did we make a difference?
      • How many people and for how long?
      • At what costs and benefits?
    • In addition to economic value, providing food helps households achieve stability, better health outcomes, and empowers adults to reach the next success in their life.
      • ‘When you are hungry, you only have ONE problem.’
    • Providing food enables people to achieve the following:
      • Stabilize their households and helps them manage monthly tradeoffs.
      • Improve household health [see slide 8 for research].
      • It empowers them in many ways:
        • More time and space to manage other challenges or take advantage of other opportunities for success.
        • Enables people to stay at work longer and improving their economic situation in the long term.
        • Nutrition education improves people’s confidence and capability to make healthier choices.
      • Gerry Brisson reviewed the following scorecards to explain the stark contrast of GCFB’s programs versus SNAP.
        • Gleaners School Food Mobile vs. SNAP [see slide 12]
        • Food Pantry Food Distribution vs. SNAP [see slide 13]
        • Gleaners School Food Mobiles vs. Gleaners Summer Food Service (SFSP) vended Meal Program [ see slide 14]
      • Gerry Brisson explained that the household Impact Model provides a way to compare the cost, benefit, and impact of different solutions to food insecurity.
    • Q & A
      • Patrice Brown inquired about the costs that incur with the donated food through the prison system as well as the data where sourcing comes from.
        • Gerry Brisson shared that the donated food percentage from the prison systems account for 1% of the 58% of the food that the food bank network distributes.
      • Patrice Brown inquired about the nutritional value of food bank food vs. nutritional value of SNAP.
        • Gerry Brisson explained theFoods to Encourage”, Feeding America’s approach to estimate the nutritional contributions of food categories in food banks’ inventories. The food bank networks and retailers need to be reasonable and mindful of what families are going through – nutritional quality of food if families are dependent on the distributor. Vast majority of SNAP dollars are spent at the large grocers (Walmart, Kroger, Meijer).
      • Alex Canepa asked about the Farmers to Families’ food box programs and did it support Gleaners’ work?
        • Gerry Brisson discussed how important this work was amid the pandemic, it allowed the food bank network to distribute millions of pounds of food. However, the food distribution process was inadequate due to food distributors not following the food bank protocols and standards. With the program being scaled and created very quickly, it was still very helpful, but there were definitely issues. Overall, without this program, we would have served far fewer families.


  • Presentation on the Detroit Food Policy Council, Working Towards a Better Food System, and FSC Q&A – Winona Bynum, executive director, Detroit Food Policy Council
    • Winona Bynum explained that a Food Policy Council (FPC) are people coming together (social infrastructure) in a non-partisan format across sectors to develop food and agriculture policy recommendations. The Detroit Food Policy Council (DFPC) came out of community action, activists and advocates, versus government action.
    • The Detroit Food Policy Council works on Federal, State, and local advocacy.
      • Federal:
        • Farm Bill – 40% of Detroiters rely on SNAP benefits (SNAP is a large component of the Farm Bill).
        • Child Nutrition Authorization Act (CNA) – impacts Detroiters tremendously.
      • State:
        • 10 Cents a Meal for Michigan’s Kids and Farms: a program that provides schools and early childhood education centers with up to 10 cents per meal in match funding to purchase and serve Michigan-grown fruits, vegetables, and legumes.
        • Urban Agriculture Bill: To help create new economic opportunities, giving Michigan families greater access to healthy food and creating a healthy environment in communities across our state.
        • SNAP on a Dime
      • Local:
        • 2008 Detroit Food Security Policy Adopted
        • 2013 Urban Agriculture Ordinance Adopted
        • 2013 Local Voters’ Guide Produced
        • 2015-2016 Detroit Food Security Policy Updated [will be updating in the near future]
      • Winona Bynum also discussed the Greater Grocer Project, a joint initiative by Wayne State University, the Detroit Food Policy Council and members of the Detroit Grocery Coalition. The Greater Grocer Project is a community-based program to strengthen relationships between independently owned grocery stores and their customers in Detroit. [components of the project – see slide 13]
      • Winona Bynum explained that the Detroit Grocery Coalition has had a widespread impact across the community, which is as follows:
        • Increased career opportunities for local residents, including youth.
        • Promote economic mobility of local grocers.
        • Improve procurement of healthy, quality, local produce.
        • Increase consumer relationships with grocers.
        • Increase consumption of healthy foods.
        • Build local capacity to work with grocers.
      • Winona Bynum also shared the coalition’s pandemic response, which is as follows:
        • Informative signage with safety guidelines for stores to provide a safer shopping environment.
        • The coalition also distributed PPE to grocery stores throughout Detroit.
      • Q&A
        • Patrice Brown inquired about gas stations being in the programmatic realm of grocery stores due to the suburbs being heavily populated with gas stations.
          • Winona Bynum shared that while grocery stores are hoping to expand to gas stations, the funding must increase. Gas stations are major points of access where people access food in the city.
        • Lew Roubal queried if there were any policy recommendations to be made to the Food Security Council.
          • Winona Bynum explained that programs like 10 Cents a Meal need to remain intact. Pertaining to the flexibilities and waivers that occurred amid the pandemic with SNAP, school food programs, and P-EBT (Pandemic-EBT) that helped to increase food access. Now that we know they work, we must figure out to make these sustainable.
        • Patrice Brown suggested that it is important for the FSC to look at the data around horticulture prison food pipeline and why they cannot use the produce they grow themselves in the prison especially regarding the health outcomes within prisons. Patrice also suggests that we make a similar recommendation to the Governor Whitmer in the final report.
        • Patrice Brown also inquired as to how we can build capacity for the 10 Cents a Meal program in urban areas.
        • Diane Golzynski shared that the 10 Cents a Meal program has been a huge worry for her as all of the programs have to be working efficiently in order to truly be helping everyone we are serving. She posed the question of “What changes need to be made to the programs to make them better to the people that we are serving?”
        • Phil Knight explained that beyond the Household Impact Model, food communicates value.



  • Workgroup Progress Reports
    • Food Supply/Systems—Co-Chairs: Todd Regis and Jamie Somers-Zmitko
      • Members: Amy Baker, Ken Nobis, Wade Syers and Kath Clark
      • Wade Syers shared that they met with the following:
        • Ruhlig Farms to discuss food boxes and the growing system and how it was affected amid the pandemic.
        • Jackson Mayor Derek Dobies to discuss the programming behind putting together meals through the local restaurants (providing work to the restaurant staff members and providing meals to those in need).
        • Brent Ross & Dr. Vedat Verter with MSU on food supply chains and resiliency. [Supply Chain Resiliency: Post Pandemic Outlook for the Agri-Food Industry –]
        • Brad Deacon, MDARD, emergency management coordinator.
        • Wade Syers’ suggests that we need collaborate on some of these areas as there are a lot of overlapping efforts within the workgroups.
      • Policies – Co-Chairs: Kim Edsenga and Lew Roubal
        • Member: Anna Almanza
          • Kim Edsenga shared that the U of M Ford School grad students are nearing the end of their semester and suggests that they should present some of their policy work before the group.
          • The workgroup is focusing on the following:
            • Eligibility: looking at income and asset levels.
            • Target populations: children and the elderly [taking full advantage of the programs].
          • Special Populations – Co-Chairs: Diana Marin and Tammy Rosa
            • Member: Dawn Medley
            • Diana Marin provided the following updates:
              • Focusing on helpful barriers and suggestions. She is hoping to collate everyone’s thoughts to have one document.
              • They are working on collecting testimonies and will continue to do so.
            • Racial Disparities – Co-Chairs: Alex Canepa and Patrice Brown
              • Member: Dr. Diane Golzynski
                • Patrice Brown shared that Shiloh Maples, professor at Eastern Michigan University presented to their group last month [Lecture was recorded and will be in shared Google folder] as well as Michelle Schulte.
                • Patrice Brown shared that the workgroups really wants to hone in on the prison food system and its impact. This work may overlap with Garlin Gilchrist’s work within the Racial Disparities Task Force.
              • Healthcare – Co-Chairs: Laurie Solotorow and Pam Yager
                • Members: Dr. Delicia Pruitt and Dr. Dawn Opel
                  • Laurie Solotorow shared that Kurt Smith, MHSA, president and CEO of Greater Flint Health Coalition presented to their workgroup focusing on Community Healthy Innovation Region (CHIR) and how to remove the barriers to health in the community.
                • Lew Roubal and Michelle Schulte
                  • Member: Anna Almanza
                  • Lew Roubal shared the following perspectives from people who are currently food insecure or who experienced it:
                    • Outreach is much harder with the elderly due to the technological shifts that have occurred amid time and the pandemic.
                    • Home delivery programs are not meeting the needs. The last mile delivery efforts are largely effecting the elderly.
                    • Veterans find it extremely difficult in engaging in specific programs that are available to them. (27.6% of female veterans are food insecure).
                    • Future groups that the workgroup will be hearing from:
                      • Community Action Agencies
                      • Child Welfare
                      • Speakers to speak on behalf of homeless clients
                      • Faith based organizations
  • New Business
      • N/A
    • Review of next steps and action items
    • Phil Knight expressed the importance of focusing on the work between now and stopping point of June is critical.

Meeting adjourned at 2:59 p.m.