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Infowire

 

Infowire fills the information gap and meets the news needs of families struggling to make ends meet.

It provides high quality information about education, health, services, food, jobs and community. We share the stories of real families facing real world issues to make it easier to get ahead.

We are looking for information that serves low-income families, not just the story. Get infowire by texting INFOWIRE to 734-954-4539 or email infowire@michiganradio.org

Internet Archive Book Images / flickr

Infowire fills the information gap and meets the news needs of families struggling to make ends meet.Get all Infowire alerts by texting INFOWIRE to 734-954-4539 or email infowire@michiganradio.org

Parents that have a kid with a serious mental illness are well acquainted with frustration. Annie Kitching is one of these parents. 

Free Press / flickr

Infowire fills the information gap and meets the news needs of families struggling to make ends meet.Get all Infowire alerts by texting INFOWIRE to 734-954-4539 or email infowire@michiganradio.org

The goal of Infowire is to deliver information that’s hard to come by to the people who could use it most. In this case, it's families of prisoners.

There’s a long list of serious issues in prison that people would not stand for if they were happening somewhere else. In this context, visits might not seem like the most important thing, but they are crucial.

Stanley Forthright / flickr

Infowire fills the information gap and meets the news needs of families struggling to make ends meet.Get all Infowire alerts by texting INFOWIRE to 734-954-4539 or email infowire@michiganradio.org

Having a juvenile record can crush the job prospects of a young person exactly the same way having a criminal record does.

Tim Lauer / creative commons

Infowire fills the information gap and meets the news needs of families struggling to make ends meet.Get all Infowire alerts by texting INFOWIRE to 734-954-4539 or email infowire@michiganradio.org

Update 10:23 a.m

After reading this story, Bryan Van Dorn from the State Department of Education offered to help any interested sites through the application process. His number is 517-373-0107 and his email is vandornb1@michigan.gov.

Tuesday June 10, 2014, 1:48 p.m.

For every eight kids who could get a free or reduced-price lunch during the school year in Michigan, only one of those kids gets fed over the summer by a similar program.

That means more than 500,000 kids around the state who needed food during the school year didn’t get access to the same program over the summer

The school lunch program does make food available over the summer for kids, and they want more families taking part. This year more than 1,300 places across the state will run a “meet up and eat up” program. All together, the program serves around 68,000 kids a day.

Not every school district or town has one of these programs, but most could if they wanted to. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) funds the summer food program. They want to see more communities applying for the program. 

Although 1,300 sites seems like a lot of places to offer summer food, some kids can't take advantage of the program because of problems with transportation or a safe route to the sites. To get around this, the USDA is experimenting with just giving money to low-income parents to buy food over the summer. That WIC program is still in a pilot phase; it will serve a few thousand people in Detroit this year.

For now, families interested in summer food programs need to find a way to one of the "meet up and eat up" sites. 

Food is waiting, if you can get there

Michelle Dunn runs a "meet up and eat up" program in Addison. “Some people still don’t believe it's free,” she says. “They don't believe you can just go in.” Dunn wishes more people would just walk in. She thinks many don’t know there’s food waiting for them.

Families interested in summer food need to know each food site is different. Not all sites offer food all summer long. Each site keeps different hours, and some may offer other activities along with summer food. It makes sense to get details about a local site, but in general:

Infowire fills the information gap and meets the news needs of families struggling to make ends meet. Get all Infowire alerts by texting INFOWIRE to 734-954-4539 or email infowire@michiganradio.org

Lucy Lafleur seems both proud and concerned about her son Benny. He’s 15 and in the ninth grade.

“He’s a great kid. He has these grand ideas, just sitting around the dinner table,” she says. “And then, I’ll look at the grades. It’s like there’s a Benny at home, and there seems to be a completely different Benny at school.”

It’s been that way as long as Lafleur can remember.

The Lafleur family didn’t know Benny had dyslexia, a common learning disability that makes reading and writing difficult, until this past winter.

Reader's choice: Vote for the next Infowire story

Apr 28, 2014
Steve Rotman / flickr

We're following a couple of story leads right now for Infowire.

Which of these interests you the most? The story with the most votes will be featured next. 

free polls

Get your vote in now. We'll accept responses until Wednesday, April 30th at 11:59pm. 

healthcare.gov

Infowire fills the information gap and meets the news needs of families struggling to make ends meet. Get all Infowire alerts by texting INFOWIRE to 734-954-4539 or email infowire@michiganradio.org

Earlier this year there was an all-out advertising blitz aimed towards young people between the ages of 18 and 34, trying to get them to sign up for the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.

More than 6 hours of Obamacare commercials on YouTube? That smells like desperation.

J.A. Warren / flickr

Infowire fills the information gap and meets the news needs of families struggling to make ends meet. Get all Infowire alerts by texting INFOWIRE to 734-954-4539 or email infowire@michiganradio.org

Knowing the benefits of breastfeeding and being able to stick with it for months are two different things.

The Centers for Disease Control  says around 75% of new moms try breastfeeding at the beginning, but only 13% of Michigan moms are still breastfeeding without using formula six months after their babies are born.

What's going on here?

Introducing Infowire: State of Opportunity's newswire

Mar 17, 2014
Lee Summers / flickr

Infowire fills the information gap and meets the news needs of families struggling to make ends meet. Get all Infowire alerts by texting INFOWIRE to 734-954-4539 or email infowire@michiganradio.org

We're in the light-filled sanctuary of Centenary Church in Macon, Georgia. It's a hot October afternoon. Our group of journalists sits in a semi-circle on worn chairs facing a screen for a Skype call with James Hamilton.   

Hamilton, an economist, is in his office at Stanford University. He's sharing with us the work he's done on "the information gap." For years, Hamilton has researched how the media delivers news and who receives it. What he's learned is that, when it comes to getting news relevant to their lives, lower-income people are left out. 

It's not that lower-income people aren't paying attention to the news. In fact, they consume media in similar ways and at similar rates to people who are financially better off. But, news organizations direct their efforts to a "target audience" of middle-income readers and listeners.

That means that whatever the target audience doesn't care about is ignored in the news cycle. This is especially the case for issues important to people in low-income communities.

Three ways not to lose all your money this tax season

Mar 12, 2014
Alashi / Getty Images

Number one: Don't get scammed!

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