Ismael Ahmed

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Archive for July, 2009

Providing Healthy Food to all, Regardless of Socioeconomic Status

Posted by Iahmed on July 24, 2009

Starting in June, Northwest Detroit Farmers Markets began accepting electronic benefit transfer cards, known as bridge cards.  This has allowed Michigan residents that receive food stamps to now be able to purchase fresh fruits and vegetables that are not offered at grocery stores.

Dozens of markets across the state have been approved this year to accept food stamps, a total of 29 markets in Michigan alone.  Michigan hosts the largest number of vendors in the Midwest.

Residents like Denise Hicks, who relies on food stamps for her groceries, could only spare a few dollars for fresh fruits and vegetables for her children at the markets before markets accepted food stamp dollars.  Now that Detroit Farmers Markets accepts bridge cards, Hicks can spend her food stamp allocation on fresh produce and save her disposable income for bills, while providing healthier meals for her family.

Record numbers of families crossing the poverty line and are becoming dependent on state welfare. And with the food stamp dollars have a multiplier effect on economic growth; Michigan farmers participating in this movement will benefit, as well as local economies all across the state.

With this growing trend in Michigan, thousands of Michigan households are now able to enjoy locally-grown fresh foods.  This is good news for our state and I urge other markets to follow in other footsteps.


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Michigan Creates Program to Help Eliminate Senior Abuse

Posted by Iahmed on July 16, 2009

Elderly abuse has increased 40 percent since 2008 with an astonishing estimate of 73,000 Michigan seniors being abused each year.  In times of economic distress, it is even more important to be watchful and take preventative measures to stopping elderly abuse.

Far too often, elderly abuse goes unreported.  Some seniors don’t admit they are suffering from abuse because they feel it questions their independency or because they are afraid the abuse will get worse.

Fortunately, there are programs such as Seniors and Law Enforcement Together (SALT) to lead in supporting victimized seniors. SALT’s mission is to raise awareness of crime and security issues related to the elderly.   SALT acts as a liaison between seniors and local police departments and provides updates on any fraudulent activity that may occur that could affect seniors.

SALT provides seniors with information on home security and personal safety and also identifies reoccurring problems, such as fraudulent activities and scams, and recommends programs that will benefit senior citizens.

In Flushing, Mich., SALT provides and installs safety items such as smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, dead bolt locks, 911 light switches and 911 reflective signs are available to residents 62 years of age or older.  SALT volunteers also reach out to seniors that live alone by personally calling them and providing personal interaction for those that may feel isolated.

Preventative measures need to be taken to stop elderly abuse and SALT provides a great initiative and helping hand to the victims of such a horrible crime.  To find the SALT program in your community contact your local police department.

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