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Hunger hits Detroit's middle class

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by Economist, Aug 13, 2009.

  1. Economist

    Economist Member

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    Hunger hits Detroit's middle class

    Food has long been an issue in this city without a major supermarket. Now demand for assistance is rising, affecting a whole new set of people.

    See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)

    By Steve Hargreaves, CNNMoney.com staff writer
    Last Updated: August 7, 2009: 12:38 PM ET


    [​IMG]A security guard watches over groceries being delivered in Detroit.



    [​IMG]An urban farm not three miles from downtown.
    [​IMG]Kids in an afterschool community garden program pick purple basil. The program is designed to teach children the benefits of healthy eating.

    DETROIT (CNNMoney.com) -- On a side street in an old industrial neighborhood, a delivery man stacks a dolly of goods outside a store. Ten feet away stands another man clad in military fatigues, combat boots and what appears to be a flak jacket. He looks straight out of Baghdad. But this isn't Iraq. It's southeast Detroit, and he's there to guard the groceries.​

    "No pictures, put the camera down," he yells. My companion and I, on a tour of how people in this city are using urban farms to grow their own food, speed off.​

    In this recession-racked town, the lack of food is a serious problem. It's a theme that comes up again and again in conversations in Detroit. There isn't a single major chain supermarket in the city, forcing residents to buy food from corner stores. Often less healthy and more expensive food.
    As the area's economy worsens --unemployment was over 16% in July -- food stamp applications and pantry visits have surged.

    Detroiters have responded to this crisis. Huge amounts of vacant land has led to a resurgence in urban farming. Volunteers at local food pantries have also increased.
    But the food crunch is intensifying, and spreading to people not used to dealing with hunger. As middle class workers lose their jobs, the same folks that used to donate to soup kitchens and pantries have become their fastest growing set of recipients.

    "We've seen about a third more people than before," said Jean Hagopian, a volunteer at the New Life food pantry, part of the New Life Assembly of God church in Roseville, a suburb some 20 miles northeast of Detroit. Hagopian said many of the new people seeking assistance are men, former breadwinners now in desperate need of a food basket.

    Hagopian is an 83-year old retired school teacher. She works at the pantry four days a week, spending two of those days driving her own minivan around town collecting food from local distributors.

    The pantry, housed in the church basement, gives away boxes of food that might feed a family of four for a week. It includes dry and packaged goods like cereals and pasta, peanut butter, canned fruits and vegetables, 7 or 8 pounds of frozen meat (usually chicken or hot dogs), and eight pan pizzas donated from a local Pizza Hut. Most of the other food is purchased from a distributor or donated by the county food program. Last month they gave out 519 boxes.

    Hagopian hopes the demand for food doesn't get much worse.
    "I hope we're at the top of it because we'll run out of food, and then we'll have to go out and find some more," she said.

    She should brace for the worst. Across metro Detroit, social service agencies are reporting a huge spike in demand for food assistance.
    Gleaners, an agency that distributes excess food donated from food processors, says their distribution is up 18% from last year. Michigan Department of Human Services, which handles federal food assistance like food stamps, WIC checks and such, has seen a 14% spike in applications since October. Calls to the United Way's help line have tripled in the last year.

    "Given the resources, we could double our numbers," said Frank Kubik, food program manager for Focus:Hope, a Detroit aid organization that fed 41,000 mostly elderly people last year. Kubik said his program is restricted by charter and budget from serving more than its current number of clients. But if that were changed, he could certainly serve up more meals.
    "There's no doubt about it, there's just so many out there that are really struggling right now," he said.

    The changing face of hunger
    There have been plenty of people struggling in Detroit for a long time. What makes this recession different is the type of people coming in. It's no longer just the homeless, or the really poor.
    Now it's middle class folks who lost their $60,000-a-year auto job, or home owners who got caught on the wrong side of the real estate bubble.
    Many of these people have never navigated the public assistance bureaucracy before, and that makes getting aid to them a challenge.
    "They have no idea where the DHS office is," said DeWayne Wells, president of Gleaners, the food distributor.
    To assist these newly hungry, Wells pointed to the United Way's 211 program, where people can call the hotline and speak to an operator that guides them through a wide range of available social services.
    The Michigan Department of Human Services is going digital, rolling out a program where people can apply for food stamps via the Web.
    That may help ease another challenge in getting aid to the middle class: pride. Many people feel so bad about having to ask for help that they just don't, or they have issues with it once they do.
    "They'll say things like 'I've never had to do this before' and they feel a little uncomfortable," said Hagopian, the retired school teacher. But she says times have changed, the good union jobs are disappearing and it's harder and harder to find work.
    "I just tell them society is not what it used to be," she said.
     
  2. Ndjabu Da Dude

    Ndjabu Da Dude JF-Expert Member

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    This is simply incredible! I can't believe there's no single Wal-mart in the whole of Detroit!
     
  3. Economist

    Economist Member

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    Retail chain Meijer in talks to open Detroit store

    By The Associated Press


    Detroit (AP) — Retail chain Meijer Inc. is in talks to open a Detroit store that would anchor the Shoppes at Gateway Park project.

    The Detroit News reports today that Meijer lawyer Stephen Palms confirmed the plans a letter to the Detroit General Retirement System, which is funding the mall development at Eight Mile Road and Woodward Avenue.

    The store would be the first in Detroit for Grand Rapids-based Meijer. It also would mark the return of a major chain grocery store to Detroit. Farmer Jack operated in Detroit until about two years ago.

    In the letter, Meijer says negotiations are incomplete.
     
  4. Nyani Ngabu

    Nyani Ngabu Platinum Member

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    Well, is Walmart considered a supermarket or a discount department store? I think it's the latter! My search revealed the following Walmart stores near or around zip code 48201:
    We found 19 stores near 48201 :
    1. Dearborn, MI 48126
    2. Taylor, MI 48180
    3. Roseville, MI 48066
    4. Sterling Heights, MI 48312
    5. Livonia, MI 48150
    6. Troy, MI 48084
    7. Woodhaven, MI 48183
    8. Canton, MI 48187
    9. Sterling Heights, MI 48314
    10. Rochester Hills, MI 48309
    11. Chesterfield, MI 48051
    12. Shelby Township, MI 48315
    13. Van Buren Township, MI 48111
    14. Commerce, MI 48382
    15. White Lake, MI 48386
    16. New Hudson, MI 48165
    17. Ypsilanti, MI 48197
    18. Monroe, MI 48162
    19. Saline, MI 48176 Opening Soon


    Kroger, Publix, Piggly Wiggly, Safeway, etc. These are more of Supermarkets than discount stores like Walmart or Target! Welcome to the US!
     
  5. Economist

    Economist Member

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    Asante kwa kuGoogle but all zip code above zipo nje ya Downtown. Kwanza hazipo karibu kama unavyofikiri. Asante sana NN nimeshakaribia miaka mingi US.
     
  6. Ndjabu Da Dude

    Ndjabu Da Dude JF-Expert Member

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    Not all Wal-marts are purely Discount stores. Some Wal-mart stores are known as Supercenters and others are called Neighboorhood Markets. Of the three types, only Wal-mart Supercenters happen to be full-fledged supermarkets.
     
  7. Nyani Ngabu

    Nyani Ngabu Platinum Member

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    Mara nyingi Walmart stores na Walmart supercenters huwaga zipo nje ya downtown....hii iko umbali wa maili 7 tu toka zip code 48201

    Store Name and Address
    Distance
    [​IMG]
    Your Local Store Learn More
    Other
    1.
    Wal-Mart Store #4383
    5851 Mercury Drive
    Dearborn, MI 48126
    (313) 441-0194


    7.68 mi

    Sasa unataka kunambia maili saba ni mbali hivyo? Kwa gari itachukua roughly dakika 5-7 saba bila traffic
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2009
  8. Ndjabu Da Dude

    Ndjabu Da Dude JF-Expert Member

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    So what does that tell you about the article's original claim that "no single major chain supermarket" is to be found within Detroit's city limits? And what exactly do you mean by "Walmart Stores" and "Walmart Supercenters"? What's the difference between these two?
     
  9. Nyani Ngabu

    Nyani Ngabu Platinum Member

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    Here is the difference as explained by wiki:

    Wal-Mart Supercenters are hypermarkets with size varying from 98,000 square feet (9,104.5 m2) to 261,000 square feet (24,247.7 m2), with an average of about 197,000 square feet (18,301.9 m2).[39] These stock everything a Wal-Mart Discount Store does, and also include a full-service supermarket, including meat and poultry, baked goods, delicatessen, frozen foods, dairy products, garden produce, and fresh seafood. Many Wal-Mart Supercenters also have a garden center, pet shop, pharmacy, Tire & lube Express, optical center, one-hour photo processing lab, portrait stu, and numerous alcove shops, such as cellular phone stores, hair and nail salons, video rental stores, local bank branches, and fast food outlets (usually Subway; several Supercenter and discount locations have also had McDonald's locations, usually with reduced menus, beginning in the early 1990s). Some Dunkin' Donuts or Blimpie restaurants can be found inside Walmart Supercenters. Some also sell gasoline distributed by Murphy Oil Corporation (whose Wal-Mart stations are branded as "Murphy USA"), Sunoco, Inc. ("Optima"), or Tesoro Corporation ("Mirastar").[43]
    The first Supercenter opened in 1988 in Washington, Missouri. A similar concept, Hypermart USA, opened in Garland, Texas

    In a nutshell, A regular Walmart discount store doesn't have all of the extra stuff that the Supercenter has.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2009
  10. Ndjabu Da Dude

    Ndjabu Da Dude JF-Expert Member

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    Well and fine enough. But you still need to explain the exact meaning of the term "Walmart store" as used by you in the following posts in this thread:

    "My search revealed the following Walmart stores near or around zip code 48201"

    "Mara nyingi "Walmart stores na Walmart supercenters.."
     
  11. Nyani Ngabu

    Nyani Ngabu Platinum Member

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    I meant either one of them (supercenter or non supercenter). Normally, when I go to Walmart I don't make the distinction of whether I'm going to a supercenter or a non-supercenter. So when I used "Walmart store" and whatnot, I was in that frame of mind. Good enough?

    Even when I go to Target for example, It don't matter to me whether the sign upfront says "Target Supercenter" or just simply "Target". I kiss my babygirl goodbye and tell her I'm going to Target.
     
  12. MaxShimba

    MaxShimba JF-Expert Member

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    http://www.detnews.com/article/99999999/METRO/90716001&template=theme&theme=METRO-RECESSION

    Wakulu Michigan inachechemea hakuna siri, ikifuatiwa na Alkart IN na nduguzao Ohio.

    Ukiangalia web site za Bank utaona kuwa sasa hivi the cheapest houses in all US of America zipo Michigan. IndyMac Bank walikuwa wanauza nyumba kwa dola chini ya Alfu, sasa hapo kweli kuna maisha?

    Watasha wa ulaya wananunua nyumba mtaa mzima kwa 20G, mpo hapo wakulu.

    For hunger to hit Detroit, it is not a suprise rather than a confirmation of recession.
     
  13. Nyani Ngabu

    Nyani Ngabu Platinum Member

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    Hehehehe hii Detroit na Michigan kwa ujumla watawala wake wote si Democraps? Sasa inakuwaje wamekuwa hit hard na recession? Mimi nilidhani Democraps wana sera nzuri za uchumi....
     
  14. MaxShimba

    MaxShimba JF-Expert Member

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    May be you have forgotten kuwa Rais alikuwa Kichaka na ndie aliye uwa hii inji.
     
  15. Nyani Ngabu

    Nyani Ngabu Platinum Member

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    Governor wa Michigan na Mayor wa Detroit ni wa chama gani? Na nji hii uchumi sio mbaya kote kote. Huku niliko local economy inafanya vizuri tu!
     
  16. MaxShimba

    MaxShimba JF-Expert Member

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    Ask your self, Obama alikuwa anafanya nini Alkart IN? Si hiyo issue ya magari mabovu, kama Governor na Mayor wapo at par with him, why Obama aende kusaidia?

    Remember I don't say that all America imezama, but some places were hit harder than the rest inclusive Detroit.
     
  17. Nyani Ngabu

    Nyani Ngabu Platinum Member

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    Nimesema Governor wa Michigan na Mayor wa Detroit. Sijaitaja Elkhart, IN mimi.
     
  18. Ndjabu Da Dude

    Ndjabu Da Dude JF-Expert Member

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    So, you'd agree with me that its a pointless exercise trying to list up more than a dozen bunch of so-called "Walmart stores" in-and around Detroit when in fact you aren't able to tell apart which, of the three types of Wal-mart stores (i.e., Discount, Supercenter and Neighboorhood Market) each individual store belongs to? In other words, can you point out which of the stores in your list is a Wal-mart Supercenter?
     
  19. MaxShimba

    MaxShimba JF-Expert Member

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    I used Elkhart, kwasababu uchumi wa Elkhart ni at par na tegemezi na wa Detroit na ndio maana nikaiweka Ohio. Hawa wote watatu walikuwa wanategemeana, na bado ni tegemezi kwa kila mmoja.

    So, when you mention economic issues ambazo zinaiumiza Michigan, ndizo hizo hizo zimeiuwa kamji ka Elkhart na State ya Ohio. You can not separate that. Unless you tell me that you don't know the relationship ya hizi state tatu zilizo nazo katika auto industry?

     
  20. Nyani Ngabu

    Nyani Ngabu Platinum Member

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    No, I would not agree with you as I got that list from a Walmart website's store locator section. All you need to do is go to Walmart.com, find where it says Store locator, type in your zip code, and boom, a list of Walmart stores and Walmart Supercenters will pull up. And if you scroll further down, the list will have a complete address, distance of the store from the zip code you used for your query, phone number, and what type of store it is i.e. a regular Walmart store or Supercenter.

    Check this out http://www.walmart.com/storeLocator/ca_storefinder_results.do?serviceName=ALL&sfatt=ALL&rx_title=&rx_dest=%2Findex.gsp&sfsearch_zip=48201

    Dude, i've been living in the US for almost two decades now. I know what I'm talking about.
     
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