LANSING, Mich. — According to the Michigan Executive Office of the Governor, the Food Security Council is making recommendations for Michigan families aiming to aid in food security related to COVID-19 and unemployment.
“I formed the Food Security Council to make sure that all Michiganders – no matter their socioeconomic status – can put food on the table for themselves and their families,” Gov. Whitmer said. “The needs are especially recognizable and critical during a pandemic but must continue to be addressed when the current crisis is over. I applaud members of the council for their hard work, creativity and partnership during a very challenging time for our state and country.”
Created in August, the Food Security Council is led by Dr. Phil Knight the chair. The council includes directors of the state’s Health and Human Services, Agriculture and Rural Development, and Labor and Economic Opportunity, and the superintendent of public instruction along with some designees and appointees.
“Over one hundred ago the Food Security Council (FSC) accepted Governor Whitmer’s challenge and opportunity to discern the impact of COVID 19 on food security across Michigan. The reality of need evidenced by the mile-long lines of cars, the relief on the faces of people who had never visited a food distribution before, and the look on a senior citizen’s face when a box was dropped off at their home,” said Dr. Phil Knight. “The words, the tears and the liberation people demonstrated when they drove away with enough food for their families affirms our shared belief that people aren’t just needy but worthy of investment. The response from all levels during the pandemic to address food insecurity offers a clear glimpse into what we need in order to create a food secure Michigan outside of the pandemic.”
In April, Michigan became the first state to gain federal approval for the Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer Program. The program provided food to children who were affected by school closings due to COVID-19.
Late May, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) started an initiative that allows people to purchase food online from participating retailers using their Electronic Benefits Transaction cards – known in Michigan as Bridge Cards.