West Flint Optimist Newsletter – April 12, 2018

Susanne Gunsorek, Hurley Food Pharmacy Coordinator and Registered Dietitian,spoke with the Club this morning about her “Food Farmacy” endeavors. A 2016 survey called attention to the “food-insecure” segments (13% nationally) of the population, but local numbers are even higher (18.5%) and the “need to address social determinants” is obvious. Noting that the two major issues identified among all patients asked about dietary deficiencies were (a) “having enough food for the month” and (b) “worry about money running out before food to last until next check comes, Susanne’s program takes referrals from all participating medical care facilities and grants patients 6 visits to “shop” for food provided by Food Bank and USDA and get counseling on diet, money management, food quality and preparation. AmeriCorps and other volunteers, as well as Flint Fresh and Edible Flint partner and help with distribution and special “Double Up Food Bucks” encourage clients/patients/consumers to make healthier food choices and “reimburse” Bridge Cards for Michigan Produce purchases, “YourRide” treats the prescription-based shopping trips like medical appointments. Grant support for this project comes through Flint Community Foundation and served 272 households and 756 people in March 2018. The need continues to outstrip the supplies, and volunteers and donations of time and money are welcome as the project continues to expand its impact, and an interesting specific need to augment the changing food preparation patterns is “spices” (to offset the less healthy salt and sugar that have characteristically been over-represented in commercially prepared foods),

Bill Reeves, as today’s Speaker Chair, hosted Susanne Gunsorek at the head table, and the order of the meeting was unusual as Ken Cullen said a prayer for breakfast and for our Crown, banners, gavel, and flag to arrive, (President Crys Reed had put the items into his truck in preparation for the meeting, unaware that his wife would leave for work in the morning before he did and have to deliver these to the meeting when their absence was noted. Needless to say, the Prez was fined, but the cost was borne by Jeff Dennings, and Steve Schlott proposed another fine against Crys for his feeble attempt at “blame-shifting”.) Jeff and Bill Hentgen made sure that tickets were printed and distributed for the Chicken Dinner Fund-raiser on April 29, Bill was fined for failure to bid on the Crown (because “King” Phil Holmblade was present to fill the throne),  Phil fined Greg Hilliker for “starting the Pledge” with “SURE!”, and Ron Ballard paid a fine “for refusing to shake Ken Cullen’s hand”. The entire Club paid because no new members have been brought into the Club in 2018, but there is hope for change: a “walk-in” who is a frequent diner in the restaurant has watched the Club for several meetings and still was interested enough to join our meeting this morning, making a total of 17 present. “Kevin“, as he introduced himself, may be especially interested in returning, since he won the morning’s “50/50” pot. Jeff and Pete Venos discussed the Zone meeting they attended, stating that joint projects and a joint installation banquet have been positively considered in the meeting. The Walt Widder Golf Outing is upcoming, and the District Conference is coming up on May 12.

(Sorry for the lateness of this newsletter, but I left the state just after the last meeting and did not have reliable internet access for writing it until I returned.)

Until next time, “Promise Yourself…