Governor’s Food Security Council

Tuesday September 29, 2020
1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Via Microsoft Teams Meeting

Meeting minutes approved.

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

Non-voting Members Present: Brianna Egan (on behalf of Senator Winnie Brinks)

Members Absent: Ken Nobis

Non-voting Members Absent: Senator Kevin Daley, Representative Pauline Wendzel, Representative Angela Witwer

Members via Teleconference: Steffany Muirhead (on behalf of Kim Trent) and 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 1:03 p.m.
  • Approval of 9-15-20 minutes and 9-29-20 agendaLewis Roubal, Vice-Chair of Food Security Council
    • Motion by Diane Golzysnki to approve 9-15-20 FSC meeting minutes, supported by Steffany Muirhead. Motion by Todd Regis to approve the 9-29-20 agenda, supported by Patrice Brown. Motion unanimously carried.

 

  • Presentation and FSC Q&A – Craig Gundersen, ACES Distinguished Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics, University of Illinois
    • “Who is Food Insecure in Michigan?”
    • Craig Gundersen explained how food insecurity is defined through modules, measurements and graphs:
      • Core Food Security Module (CFSM) – reviewed module and how it’s measured.
      • Map the Meal Gap (MTMG) – MTMG is from 2018 (data is always 2 years behind). https://map.feedingamerica.org/ [reference slide 3].
      • Projections – full population 38.2% and children 63.3% (due to the unprecedented times of COVID-19) [reference slide 4].
      • Key Determinants:
        • Black persons in segregated areas [reference slide 6 – 8)

 

  • Disability status
    • Households that fall under the disability status, are in much greater risk of food insecurity [reference slide 11 and 12].
    • Gundersen reiterated that we have to be talking about this MORE as they are bearing the brunt of COVID-19.
  • Non-college students between the ages of 18 – 30 are in much graver danger of food insecurity [reference slide 13].
  • High food prices
    • Michigan does fairly well at keeping food prices low
    • The lower the state keeps the food prices, the more food people have access as well as afford.
  • Food insecurity and health care costs
    • A food insecure adult has annual healthcare costs that are $1,800 higher than a food secure adult.
    • Nationwide, there are almost $52,000,000,000 more in healthcare costs due to food insecurity
  • SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program)
    • Most successful government program.
    • SNAP reduces food insecurity and in turn reduces healthcare costs.
    • We must keep the entitlement program.
    • SNAP provides clients with dignity and allows people to make their own food choices.

 

  • Q&A
    • Diana Marin asked Dr. Gundersen what percentage of college students are working?
      • Gundersen shared he did not have the data with him at the time, but assumed that they are working roughly the same as the rest of the population. Those that are without college degrees are the ones who have gotten hurt the worst throughout COVID-19.
    • Lewis Roubal asked if the indicator of disability based on Social Security Administration definition. Or, another definition?
      • The definition that Dr. Gundersen uses is taken from the Current Population Survey where there is five criteria to see if someone is or is not self-reporting a disability.

 

  • Presentation and FSC Q&A – Dr. Alyssa Beavers, Assistant Professor, Dept. of Nutrition and Food Science, Wayne State University
    • “Michigan Food Insecurity in the Wake of COVID-19”
    • Beavers explained the following connected disparities:
      • Pre-Pandemic
      • Amid Pandemic
      • Households and Individuals
      • COVID-19 Infection
        • COVID-19 has worsened the disparities that were already present.
      • Beavers discussed the purpose behind the survey that she and her team generated during COVID-19 to better understand the scope of food worries, purchasing behavior and challenges, and food security.
      • Beavers explained the findings of the survey and discussed the various demographic factors as it relates to food security. [reference slides 6 – 12 for graphs]
        • Amid COVID-19, people were buying less fruits and vegetables due to the cost and the risk factor of contamination while sitting out in the stores.
        • People were also buying more shelf-stable food items due to the unknown factors of COVID-19.
      • Beavers shared the following recommendations:
        • Ensure food-related policies, programs, and charitable food focus on the most vulnerable to food insecurity.
        • Increase access to all types of fruits and vegetables through policies, programs, and charitable food.
        • Messaging about the importance of maintaining a healthy diet.

 

  • Q&A
    • Lewis Roubal asked if the survey identified how long after unemployment disruption that families became food insecure.
      • Beavers shared that they did not ask that on the survey due to the timing of the survey was dispersed. They asked unemployment since March and how it affected food security status in June.
    • Jamie Zmitko asked if there was a decrease in meat / poultry purchases.
      • Beavers shared that the shortage was much larger in the food insecure respondents than the food secure respondents. The shortage could have been related to supply or income-related due to meat being one of the more expensive items.
    • Presentation and FSC Q&A – Luke Shaefer, Director, Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan
      • “Food Insecurity in Michigan”
      • Shaefer discussed the way in which food insecurity is being measured through health screenings as well as the food insecurity trends throughout Michigan.
        • Michigan now ranks higher in food insecurity than the U.S.
      • Shaefer explained the labor force and how it related to food insecurity.
        • It is often assumed that those who are food insecure are not working. However, 51% of food insecure households are ones where someone is working full-time.
        • Social safety nets may not be doing enough to help the vulnerable populations as 15% of food insecure households are retirees and 16% are disabled households are unable to work.

 

  • Shaefer described the following food insecurity (FI) household characteristics:
    • FI is higher in households with children, than without.
    • FI is higher among single mother families.
    • FI is lowest among the elderly, although still present.
    • FI is higher among people of color.
    • FI is highest among those who suffer from poverty.

 

  • Shaefer discussed that food insecure households often have to choose between purchasing food or the following basic needs:
    • Transportation
    • Housing
    • Utilities
    • Healthcare

 

  • Shaefer discussed the effects of food insecurity during COVID-19 as there were very large spikes in food insecurity during the months of March and April. Which in turn, caused large spikes in the need of food assistance.
  • Shaefer shared that there is convincing research that the implementation and provisions of the CARES act made a vast difference – Michigan being extremely effective at this.

 

  • Q&A
    • Patrice Brown asked if there were other determinants that affect income.
      • Shaefer discussed the affects of living in a single parent household as well as employers cutting hours.
    • Lewis Roubal asked about the underlying poverty rate in Minnesota and if it was more affluent.
      • Shaefer elaborated that it may be policy driven.

 

  • New Business
    • Phillip Knight asked what the future of the FSC meetings should look like.
      • How does the FSC prefer to organize through months 4 – 18?
      • Phillip Knight suggested workgroups. The FSC workgroup will create an interest form and send out to the members.
        • Michelle Schulte shared her interest in workgroups.
        • Tammy Rosa also shared her interest in workgroups.

 

  • Discussion—FSC Members
    • Patrice Brown shared her following thoughts on the presentations:
      • She discussed how alarming the segregation numbers from Dr. Gundersen’s presentation were and how she would love to partner with northern partners.
      • She would love to focus on rural counties (Mackinac, Luce, and Chippewa) as well as Wayne County.
      • Patrice will be generating her concept paper to the council.

 

  • Michelle Schulte shared the following thoughts on the presentations:
    • Mackinac, Luce and Chippewa counties have a high rate of Native Americans that suffer from food insecurity and agrees that more focus needs to be directed to these particular counties.
    • She discussed the unemployment policy and how she would love to clean up these particular policies to help benefit Michiganders even more.
    • She suggests policy scans to excerpt ones that pertain to food security.
    • Transportation is a large social determinant that affects those that are food insecure. What can we do to make this better?

 

  • Alex Canepa shared the following thoughts on the presentations:
    • Alex asked Michelle about Tribal participation in SNAP.
      • Michelle Schulte shared that there are more than 50% of the tribes live off the reservation with access and certification being large barriers.

 

  • Phillip Knight presented the question to the Food Security Council:
    • What do we do with the data?

 

  • Diana Marin shared the following thoughts pertaining to the presentations:
    • Contrary to popular belief, over 50% of food insecure are working.
    • The correlation with non-college workers and food insecurity, she would love to see the data.
    • She praised Pandemic EBT and how helpful it was. She is hopeful to push out funds for food insecurity that are quick, in place, and work effectively.

 

  • Next Meeting
    • Tuesday, October 13, at 1:00 p.m. via MS Teams.
    • Topic: “Food Programs and Policies”
      • Josh Rivera, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Economic Stability Administration Policy Director & Dawn Sweeney, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, SNAP State Administrator
      • Richard Thelen, Michigan Dept. of Health & Human Services, Human Services Emergency Management Coordinator, State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC)
      • Diane Golzynski, Michigan Dept. of Education, Director, Office of Health and Nutrition Services

 

  • Meeting was adjourned at 2:54 p.m.
  • Next Meeting
    • Tuesday, September 15 at 1:00 p.m. via MS Teams.

 

  • Meeting was adjourned at 2:10 p.m.