White Cloud gets famous

annie1992April 15, 2010

I was waiting in line at the grocery store and picked up the May issue of Family Circle, the one with the lilacs on the front. I was sucked in by "Walk off 10 pounds by summer", LOL.

Anyway, I flipped to a story on Share Our Strength and the Great American Bake Sale and what do I find on page 74 under "Bridging the Gap". Sigh. A local family. One I know. In White Cloud. There we were, with the statistic that 80% of the children in the White Cloud School District were eligible for reduced fee lunches, unemployment is rampant and kids are signing up for backpacks full of healthy snacks to take home. 20% live in "extreme poverty".

Now, this isn't anything I didn't know, heck, I live here. But having it noticed on a national basis is somewhat disconcerting. I know we struggled and we sometimes went hungry when I was a child, but I had hoped that life would be easier for today's children, but apparently not.

So, the next time you hear Sandra Lee pitch Share Our Strength, don't cringe. The bake sale money is going here too.


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Annie, I have that issue and flipped through it. Must go back and read it now.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 7:54AM
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That is sad. It's also sad when it's hidden and we don't always know that people are struggling so.

Next time I'm at the store I'll read it in line. I never buy those magazines -- I figure they are there to entertain you until it's time to put the groceries on the conveyor belt.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 9:22AM
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dedtired, I seldom buy those magazines, but I bought that one. When a face I know is staring up from the page, I make an exception.


    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 10:43AM
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I would, too, Annie. I also used to buy nearly anything that had a picture of Princess Di. What a sucker I am.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 10:45AM
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How sad, but it is wonderful that the community bonds to support a family, despite the poverty. With an 80% rate eligible for free lunches, I certainly hope that your school district & library are receiving the grant funds available through Erate to for Internet connectivity & telecommunications. That rate of poverty could result in substantial cost savings to be used in additional ways to benefit the community.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 3:38PM
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Ellen, I don't know about the library, I know the schools within the intermediate school district and the county government gets internet connections through the local tech school at no charge. I'm only assuming that the libraries do too.

Other customers are charged a monthly rate, so I'm guessing they make enough from other services to cover the free connections for non-profits but I don't know where the tech school gets their funds.

Michigan is still leading the U.S. in unemployment and in jobs lost and we're still losing them. Statewide unemployment is over 14% but our area is hovering between 20 and 24%. We've always had much lower wages and higher unemployment than other areas but we were traditionally a "bedroom" community for bigger places like Grand Rapids. Then gas got to be $3 a gallon and people moved, they couldn't afford to commute 100 miles round trip every day. Just a few years ago Newaygo County was one of the fastest growing counties in the state, but no more.

With almost no industry other than agriculture (we do have the Gerber Baby Food Company and Magna Donnelly, but Donnelly is a car parts manufacturer and that says enough about their employees currently), there is virtually no "local" job market.


    Bookmark   April 16, 2010 at 10:44PM
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