Governor’s Food Security Council

Tuesday, October 12, 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, Kim Edsenga, Dr. Diane Golzysnki, Michelle Leask, Steffany Muirhead, Ken Nobis, Dr. Delicia Pruitt, Tammy Rosa, Todd Regis, Laurie Solotorow, Wade Syers, Pam Yager, and Jamie Zmitko-Somers

Non-voting Members Present: Sophia Rishar [on behalf of Representative Witwer], Brianna Egan [on behalf of Senator Brinks], Amanda Wright [on behalf of Senator Daley]

Members Absent: Juan Escareno, Dawn Medley, Todd Regis

Non-voting Members Absent: Representative Wendzel and Senator Daley

Members via Teleconference: None

Public Comment: No public comment.


  • Welcome and Introduction – Dr. Phillip Knight, Chairman of Food Security Council
    1. Meeting called to order at 1:03 p.m. by Lew Roubal


  • Approval of 8-10-21 minutes and 10-12-21 agendaLewis Roubal, Vice-Chair of Food Security Council
    • Motion by Dr. Delicia Pruitt to approve 8-10-21 FSC meeting minutes and the 10-12-21 agenda, supported by Dr. Diane Golzynski. Motion unanimously carried.



  • Food Supply/Systems—Jamie Somers-Zmitko
    • Questions / comments from FSC:
      • Diana Marin: What will be in place with the health and safety of the workers? How to secure that MI produce / product actually benefits MI? [referring to Recommendation 1: Meat, Poultry and Seafood Processing Expansion]
        • Jamie Zmitko-Somers: Modernization that will help the workers. Grants would only be offered to Michigan companies, no companies outside the state.
        • Hopefully this would increase processing capacity.
      • Alex Canepa: Would these certifications / funds be inspected? [referring to Recommendation 1: Meat, Poultry and Seafood Processing Expansion]
        • Jamie Zmitko-Somers: Funds would help increase capacity. USDA has specific grants that are not currently USDA inspected, but one can apply for federal inspection. USDA has $6M and are in the process of finalizing for grant / funding to help continue to help expand meat processing. Still more to be done.


  • Policies – Lew Roubal and Kim Edsenga
    • Questions / Comments from the FSC:
      • Patrice Brown shared that the Racial Disparities workgroup had a conversation with a WIC representative, Myra Lee, and she strongly urged that the FSC should increase the funding for the workforce supporting WIC [midwives and doulas] as they are tremendously underpaid. [referring to recommendation 3: Increase WIC Participation for Children’s Health Insurance Program Participants]
      • Michelle Leask retention strategy has to fall on someone else aside from the health department. Wrap around care services to ensure to renew is handled and families are supported that way. Transportation support is vitally important. [referring to recommendation 2: Increase Funding for Local and Regional Food Programs]


  • Special Populations – Diana Marin and Tammy Rosa
    • Questions / comments from the FSC:
      • Lew Roubal inquired about LB 108, recent legislation that was passed in Nebraska– SNAP Benefit Access – passed in Nebraska. [referring to recommendation 3: Expand SNAP access].
      • Diana sending more information to the FSC.
      • Patrice Brown inquired about the SNAP eligibility and SNAP access and how it decreased the cliff and income requirement. Is the cliff addressing this? [[referring to recommendation 3: Expand SNAP access]
        • Diana Marin responded with that yes, the cliff is addressing this, but there is more work to be done in regards to the financial cliff.
        • Patrice recommended that federal barriers are removed and having such written in a federal document would be impactful.


  • Racial Disparities – Alex Canepa and Patrice Brown
    • Questions / comments from the FSC:
      • The Healthy Stores Refrigeration Grant program:
      • Jamie Zmitko-Somers discussed the accessibility on the SOM’s websites and that the entire state of Michigan is going through website management tools to make it more accessible, including translation. Taking place over the next 6 months [referring to recommendation 3: Improve language accessibility of MDHHS Food Assistance and MDARD websites]
        • She shared that MDARD will look at grants, but a lot of decisions were made before she came on board. And happy to have further conversations.
        • Regarding the demographic information, MDARD is getting ready for a new cycle to be added and will discuss in capturing this amid grantee applications.
        • New brochures / sites for programs: hoping to get others / new translated if funding allows.


  • Healthcare – Laurie Solotorow and Pam Yager
    • Questions / comments from the FSC:
      • Laurie Solotorow shared that the recommendations 1 [Develop a standardized Social Determinants of Health (SDOH) screening and referral tool to identify and assist individuals and patients with unmet health-related resource needs] and 2 [Identify specific diagnostic code language related to food insecurity that integrates food insecurity strategies into a broader healthcare strategy and helps to identify food insecurity earlier in its cycle] go hand in hand per Dr. Pruitt. If there is no mechanism to trigger action, it doesn’t really matter. Why they went down the path of codes.
      • Laurie Solotorow suggests that a coalition of stakeholders is formed in order to continue to do the work. How can we continue the good work of the FSC? Hoping to connect with someone in Governor’s office to be liaison to continue work.
      • Recommendations 1 – 3 all coincide.
      • Some facilities have social workers on hand to be able to follow thru with the SDoH. They typically only have pamphlets on hand or provide a # to call, which gives the client one more thing to do / call to make. Having the resource on hand is impactful.


  • Client Perspectives – Lew Roubal and Michelle Leask
    • No questions / comments from the FSC


  • Polling results from FSC and discussion about initial recommendation refinement
    • There was minimal participation on the survey, 9 people. Dr. Dawn Opel has the aggregated results if one is interested.


  • Review of next steps and action items
    • Dawn Opel shared that she is going to create a more robust survey to give feedback on prioritization around certain issues.
      • Dawn Opel is taking the chat and will review to makes sure all pertinent information moves forward.
      • The discussion in November will surround where the recommendations are falling and where other published reports are at.
      • The FSC will receive the drafted report in December and then reconvene in January to finalize.
      • Jamie Zmitko-Somers inquired about the ranking of the recommendations. Do we rank all of them? Or, dollars attached to them vs. policy / programming?
      • Michelle Leask inquired about the overlapping recommendations – will these be aggregated?
        • Dawn Opel: Yes. We need to pare down the thematics. We need central thematics with gusto – looking for trends across the workgroups to provide a more compelling narrative.
      • Phil Knight explained that the entire intent of this work is to create impact. We all want to come to the end and feel confident that we moved the needle.


  • Meeting adjourned at 3:02 p.m.


Next full FSC meeting: 11/9/21, 1-3:00 p.m. via Zoom.