Granholm Urges Citizens to Remember Those in Need This Thanksgiving

Contact: Mitchell Rivard 517-335-6397

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 24, 2010

In radio address, Governor highlights food bank assistance programs, ways people can help  

LANSING - In her weekly radio address, Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today urged citizens to remember those less fortunate this Thanksgiving holiday and encouraged residents across the state to help those in need by volunteering at a local food bank or by donating food. 

"On Thanksgiving most families in Michigan sit down to enjoy a huge dinner," Granholm said.  "But for more than one million people in our state, putting just a little food on the table is a daily struggle.  My administration and the Michigan Food Policy Council have been working to help people obtain food and also provide better access to food that's fresh and healthy." 

"People in Michigan's Food Assistance Program can now use their Bridge cards to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at 57 farmers markets throughout the state," Granholm said.  "Thirteen of those markets participate in the Double Up Food Bucks program where Bridge card users who plan to spend up to $10 on Michigan-grown fruits and vegetables can receive $20 worth of fresh produce from participating vendors." 

"Food banks, though, remain the mainstay for getting food to large numbers of people.  The Food Bank Council of Michigan has 10 regional food banks across the state that serve 2,700 community agencies." 

"Every fall the Michigan Harvest Gathering campaign helps replenish the food banks, and for 20 years state employees have partnered with the Food Bank Council in this effort," Granholm said.  "Contributions are still coming in for this year's campaign, but so far state employees have donated more than $56,000 and over 19,000 pounds of food." 

"Food banks could use your assistance as well," Granholm continued.  "There are three ways to help.  First, you can donate money.  Every $1 donation helps provide five meals.  Second, you can collect food.  From now through December 10, you can drop off nonperishable food items at any Secretary of State branch office.  And third, you can volunteer to work at a food bank." 

"In 2009, Michigan food banks distributed 84 million pounds of food," Granholm said. "Nearly 50 percent of those in need are children and seniors.  During this Thanksgiving, please pause to remember the hungry in our state and help in any way you can."  

For more information, visit the Michigan Harvest Gathering campaign website at www.feedmichigan.org

The governor's weekly radio address is released each Friday and may be heard on broadcast stations across the state.  The address is available for download on the governor's web site at www.michigan.gov/gov  together with a clip of the quote above.  The radio address also is available as a podcast on the web site as well as on iTunes and via RSS feed for general distribution to personal MP3 players and home computers.  Links to the audio files and text of today's address follow. 

Governor Jennifer M. Granholm
Radio Address - Food Banks
November 24, 2010

Full: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/gov/Gov277Full_339275_7.mp3
Edited: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/gov/Gov277Edit_339276_7.mp3
Quote: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/gov/Gov277Quote_339277_7.mp3

Hello, this is Governor Jennifer Granholm. 

On Thanksgiving most families in Michigan sit down to enjoy a huge dinner.  But for more than one million people in our state, putting just a little food on the table is a daily struggle. 

My administration and the Michigan Food Policy Council have been working to help people obtain food and also provide better access to food that's fresh and healthy. 

People in Michigan's Food Assistance Program can now use their Bridge cards to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables at 57 farmers markets throughout the state.  Thirteen of those markets participate in the Double Up Food Bucks program where Bridge card users who plan to spend up to $10 on Michigan-grown fruits and vegetables can receive $20 worth of fresh produce from participating vendors. 

We're improving access to fresh food in other ways as well.  A recent state law provides tax incentives for grocery stores to expand or build in underserved areas.  And if people can't travel to a grocery store, we're bringing the food to them through the Michigan Neighborhood Food Movers.  In this pilot program in Detroit, vendors sell low-cost fruits and vegetables out of trucks in neighborhoods where it's hard to find fresh produce. 

Food banks, though, remain the mainstay for getting food to large numbers of people.  The Food Bank Council of Michigan has 10 regional food banks across the state that serve 2,700 community agencies. 

Every fall the Michigan Harvest Gathering campaign helps replenish the food banks, and for 20 years state employees have partnered with the Food Bank Council in this effort.  Contributions are still coming in for this year's campaign, but so far state employees have donated more than $56,000 and over 19,000 pounds of food. 

Food banks could use your assistance as well.  There are three ways to help. 

First, you can donate money.  Every $1 donation helps provide five meals. 

Second, you can collect food.  From now through December 10, you can drop off nonperishable food items at any Secretary of State branch office. 

And third, you can volunteer to work at a food bank. 

For more information, visit the Michigan Harvest Gathering campaign website at feedmichigan.org. 

In 2009, Michigan food banks distributed 84 million pounds of food.  Nearly 50 percent of those in need are children and seniors.  During this Thanksgiving, please pause to remember the hungry in our state and help in any way you can.  

Thank you for listening, and Happy Thanksgiving. 

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