Community conversation will focus on building economic security for families, children

LANSING, Mich. — In collaboration with the Food Bank Council of Michigan and the Michigan League for Public Policy, Sen. Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D–East Lansing) will host a town hall meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 14, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Cristo Rey Community Center in Lansing.

Sen. Hertel will lead a conversation about the harsh reality that many citizens cannot survive economically, even though they are fully employed. Joining Sen. Hertel to discuss these problems will be a panel of local experts — including Joseph Garcia Executive Director of Cristo Rey Community Center, Kait Skwir Deputy Director Food Bank Council of Michigan and Peter Ruark Senior Policy Analyst from the Michigan League of Public Policy.

“There are too many employed citizens in our community who struggle with basic necessities like, housing, child care, health care and transportation,” Sen. Hertel said. “The problem is even though there have been good times on Wall Street, there are still tough times on Main Street.”

Families across the state are struggling in an economy that has failed to keep up with the cost of living. Employees of the Cristo Rey Community Center have seen an increase of working-class residents struggling to keep up with even the most basic needs.

“We have to reach for a better standard for families in Michigan, and one that includes the minimum costs of housing, transportation and health care,” Sen Hertel said. “We should all be talking about how we can make sure that every Michigander has an opportunity to transition from relying on public assistance programs to full, financial self-sufficiency.”

A recent report from the Food Bank Council of Michigan has estimated the minimum wage necessary for self-sufficiency for a single adult with two school-age children living in Ingham County is at $44,948. Currently, the federal poverty guideline for a three-person family is set at $20,420.

“It’s imperative that we acknowledge and discuss these issues that are affecting families across the state of Michigan,” Sen. Hertel said. “It is very clear why the families of our state no longer feel like they can get ahead. We must do better, and we want you to be a part of the solution.”

The public is invited to attend Sen. Hertel’s “Food for Thought: What it Takes to Make Ends Meet” town hall meeting at Cristo Rey Community Center, 1717 N. High St. in Lansing.

Sen. Hertel will be bringing a personal care item for the center. For more information about the center’s needs, please visit www.cristoreycommunity.org/get-involved/wish-lists.

For more information, please contact Sen. Hertel’s office at (517) 373-1734.

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