Officials say “zombie” deer are not affecting Greater Lansing Food Bank

Meridian Township officials and food bank directors said deer infected by chronic wasting disease is not being donated to food banks as venison. According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the chronic wasting disease is a contagious, neurological disease that affects deer, elk and moose. It causes a degeneration of the brain resulting in exceptionally thin, abnormal behaviour, loss of bodily functions and death. There is a popular name for the infected animals: zombie deer. 

Meridian Township is in a management zone where there is a chance the deer still have the disease because it was found there before. Kelsey Dillon, Park Naturalist and Stewardship Coordinator in Meridian Township’s Parks and Recreation Department, said part of venison donations to food banks comes from hunters who are members of the Meridian Township Deer Management Program.

Northern Michigan pioneers effort to reduce food waste

By BRIDGET BUSH
Capital News Service
LANSING – Emmet County’s recycling program has been recognized as one of four model programs in the state for having a high quality service that matches the needs of the community. The Michigan Profile of Recycling Programs and Potential Recycling studied recycling programs across the state, concluding that the level of participation among residents and businesses is a strong social cue to encourage others to recycle. The study was done by the Northeast Michigan Council of Governments with a grant from the Department of Environmental Quality. Under a recent law signed by Gov. Rick Snyder, beginning October 1, establishments that recycle 100 tons or more per year must collect data and report their activities to the state. The law requires the Department of Environmental Quality to operate a statewide database of recycling efforts, exclusive of food waste, by the facilities, which will be published annually online.

Volunteers and local organizations are key in helping the Holt Community Food Bank

By Austin Short
Holt Journal Staff Reporter

The Holt Community Food Bank has been helping families in need for over 20 years now, with the help of local volunteers and organizations leading the way. The local food bank relies heavily on grants, food and cash donations year -ound, but also holds fundraisers. Other local organizations donate food or money as well. The Holt Kroger is extremely supportive of the food bank giving bread, baked goods, produce and frozen meats. Bonnie Mahieu, Holt Community Food Bank Coordinator, estimates that Kroger donates hundreds of pounds of food every week.

Planting seeds of growth: Lansing Roots

By Sheryl Levitt
Listen Up, Lansing staff reporter

As summer comes to an end, the last fruits and vegetables are being harvested in gardens all over Lansing. This season has been a busy one for those involved with the Greater Lansing Food Bank’s Lansing Roots program. Geared toward helping limited resource and under-served individuals, Lansing Roots provides land and agricultural training for beginning farmers in Mid-Michigan. Its primary purpose is to create successful gardening and farming enterprises in the Lansing area. The Greater Lansing Food Bank hopes its program will eliminate hunger in local communities.

Snowfall impacts community services in Old Town

By Sumaira Hai 
Old Town Reporter
Old Town Lansing Times 
LANSING – Recent winter snowstorms have had an economic and social effect on the Old Town community. The “polar vortex” of 2014, which brought over an estimated ten inches of snow to various parts of Michigan, took a toll on community services such as the Greater Lansing Food Bank  and the Greater Lansing Housing Coalition>
Joe Wald, executive director of the Greater Lansing Food Bank, said food supplies are down at all seven of the food banks in the area, including the one in Old Town, “The food bank has become the safety net to get nutritious food to those in need across our community,” he said. “Need increased,” Wald said. “In fact, we distributed 10% more food in 2014 than in 2013.”
Snow has caused numerous problems. GLFB had to close its operation during the snowstorm in early February. “We cannot pick up and delivery food if our trucks cannot run…our employees cannot make it to the warehouse…so we try to coordinate with our pantry network,” Wald said.

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.