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Michigan need to improve healthcare, education, public health, immigration regulation, families, childcare, worker skills, employment, and wages. The report explains the problems and gives recommendation to each of them.
A child's health is a key predictor for his or her future success and well-being. Unfortunately, far too many children face barriers that prevent them from reaching their full potential because of where they live, learn and play. The inequitable distribution of social, economic and environmental resources across communities - often called the social determinants of health - create challenges for healthy living. Socioeconomic conditions (e.g., concentrated poverty), access to health care and transportation options, educational and employment opportunities, and aesthetic elements (e.g., green spaces and vibrant public spaces) result in differences in opportunities and exposure to health-promoting resources such as child care, high performing schools, affordable housing, access to healthy food and safe spaces for physical activity. The availability and quality of these neighborhood resources and services have a major impact on the ability of children and families to make choices that support healthy growth and development. When children and families have access to these resources and services, children have more opportunities to thrive. On the contrary, children growing up in communities that lack these often suffer poorer health outcomes than their peers. These differences in health are known as health disparities.
Bringing a grocery store into an underserved neighborhood not only makes fresh produce and other healthy food more accessible, it can provide livingwage jobs, raise the value of surrounding property, and anchor and attract additional businesses to the neighborhood. A wide range of public, private, and nonprofit organizations work to support projects - like grocery store development - that help build a healthy economy. This guide is designed to help advocates and public health agencies coordinate and leverage tools available through local government and other organizations to bring healthy food options into low-income communities. Economic development refers to a range of activities that help build and sustain a healthy economy.
Local governments can promote healthy eating and active living in their communities by supporting local farmers' markets. Local farmers' markets provide fresh produce to community residents, support small farmers, serve as community gathering places, and revitalize community centers and downtown areas.
Millions of Michigan residents are in food insecure. Children, rural residents, people with disabilities, people of color, and seniors are most at risk. The report lists state policy and federal policy recommendations to solve the problems.
The impetus for this guide and the work it reflects originated with the establishment of USDA's "Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food" (KYF2) Initiative. Launched in 2009, the mission of KYF2 is to strengthen the critical connection between farmers and consumers and support local and regional food systems. As such, it is closely aligned with the broader mission of USDA to support agriculture, rural development, and healthy nutrition. While there is no office, staff, or budget dedicated to KYF2, Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan chairs a task force of USDA employees representing every agency within the Department in order to break down bureaucratic silos, develop commonsense solutions for communities and farmers, and foster new partnerships inside USDA and across the country.
Farmers markets are experiencing a resurgence, increasingly recognized as important hubs for local food systems in the United States. In the last 15 years, the number of farmers markets in the United States has increased from 1,755 to 5,274; however, low-income communities have not fully participated in this upward trend. This is especially problematic in light of health disparities faced by impoverished communities and communities of color, which is in part aggravated by a lack of access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Farmers markets can play an important role in improving such access. Lowresource communities not only provide unique opportunities for direct marketing producers, but also substantial economic, social, and at times cultural barriers to the successful operation of farmers markets. One such barrier has been the transfer of food stamps (now known as SNAP or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) from a paper coupon to a debit card format. Between 1994, before this change started to take place, and 2008, the value of SNAP benefi ts redeemed at farmers markets dropped by 71% in constant 1994 dollars. All told, SNAP transactions at farmers markets accounted for a mere 0.008% of total SNAP transactions nationwide in 2009. By way of comparison, USDA estimates that American consumers spend roughly 0.2% of their food dollars at farmers markets.
Since 2000, the number of farmers markets across the United States has increased 80% to reach over 5,000 by 2010. Farmers markets seem to be popping up everywhere: they can be found in neighborhood parking lots, at bus and train stops, and even in front of hospitals. Their popularity is testament to the multiple benefits they bring to customers, vendors, and communities: stimulating economic growth and job opportunity, revitalizing downtowns, creating active spaces, and helping to preserve farmland and minimize sprawl. Farmers markets are not only great community places and excellent shopping destinations; they are also key ingredients in our country's fight to combat diet-related illness such as diabetes and heart disease, and are increasingly being developed to reach lower-income customers. Indeed, the power of markets to bring together diverse types of people and to serve all income levels makes them ideal venues to promote public health.
As has been widely reported, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of farmers markets in the United States in the last ten years from some 1,755 markets in 1994 to 4,385 in 2006. Over three million consumers shop weekly at these markets, where an estimated 30,000 small to mid-sized farm operations and food entrepreneurs earn a partial or full living selling their local products. USDA has projected roughly $1 billion in annual consumer spending in urban, suburban and rural farmers markets. This remarkable increase has been made possible because of the groundswell of interest in farmers markets at the community level. Grassroots organizations - churches, downtown associations, chambers of commerce and community food activists - are increasingly becoming market organizers and/or sponsors, and are expanding to new locations and communities. Today, farmers markets vary in size from a few vendors to many hundred, with management ranging from a vendor-volunteer to a professional management team. Farmers markets are located in economically, ethnically and socially diverse neighborhoods and, increasingly, are gearing their efforts toward improving access to fresh food for all community members. This has included a growing number of farmers markets that accept FMNP coupons and EBT/Food Stamps.
An ordinance regulating use of incentives related to adolescent food consumption.