Typhoon victims got less, still need international aid

By BECKY McKENDRY

Capital News Service

LANSING – When Typhoon Haiyan, also known as Typhoon Yolanda, devastated the Philippines last month, Americans sprang into action.

Just not as many as expected, according to a national report.

Compared to other recent international disasters like the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and the 2011 tsunami in Japan, fewer Americans paid attention to news of the typhoon and are donating to relief efforts, according to the Pew Research Center report.

At least over 55 percent of Americans reported “very closely” following the earthquake in Haiti and tsunamis in Japan and the Indian Ocean. Only 32 percent of Americans report following Typhoon Haiyan. That has translated into low numbers of donations – with only 14 percent of Americans reporting they have donated so far.

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When it comes to food, pantries work all year

By BECKY McKENDRY

Capital News Service

LANSING – As food banks and food pantries across the state prepare for the challenges of the holiday season and talk of looming cuts to federal food benefits, there is one message they’d like you to carry well into the new year.

People are hungry year-round.

“The holidays are a busy time in volunteering and donating,” said Anne Schenk, senior director of advancement at Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan in Detroit.

“But sometimes people forget that we have these needs all year.”

Schenk said volunteers and donations tend to taper off in spring and plateau during the summer. That can be especially challenging, as donations are often in high demand when children are on spring and summer breaks – and not receiving meals at school.

“People tend to think about the hungry during holidays,” said Kim Gladstone, external relations manager of the Greater Lansing Food Bank. “And we are so grateful and appreciate that, but people will also still need food when March and April hit.”

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