Lawmakers collect brown paper bags and donations to help end childhood hunger

LANSING—State Sens. Dave Hildenbrand and Goeff Hansen have teamed up to help an organization aimed at ending childhood hunger.

The lawmakers from West Michigan are helping Kids’ Food Basket reach their goal of collecting 50,400 decorated brown paper bags by Sept. 17.

“Kids’ Food Basket is devoted to helping young people learn and live well through ending childhood hunger,” said Hansen, R-Hart. “It is difficult to think of a worthier goal than this one. I am delighted to help them in whatever way I can.”

Hansen and Hildenbrand have provided brown paper bags and crayons to each House and Senate office. The bags will later become “Sack Suppers” filled with meals for children, and the lawmakers are asking their colleagues to help give every Sack Supper a “touch of love” by decorating the paper bags.

“I have helped pack Sack Suppers in Muskegon and I know the positive impact they have on communities,” Hansen said. “When paired with other meals at school, Sack Suppers help round out the daily nutritional requirements for children.”

The pager bags the lawmakers distributed will be collected from House and Senate offices on Tuesday, Sept. 16.

“Kids’ Food Basket provides a vital service to our community’s children,” said Hildenbrand, R-Lowell. “Without this program, a large number of children would not have a stable, healthy source for meals outside of school. Groups like this are just another example of how the Grand Rapids community excels at coming together to help those in need.”

Residents interested in more information on Kids’ Food Basket, including how to help with Sack Suppers, may contact Melissa Yutzey at 517-371-1400.


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Hildenbrand resolution declares September ‘Childhood Cancer Awareness Month’

LANSING— Debilitating and unpredictable, childhood cancer claims the lives of dozens of children each year. Unlike many types of cancer acquired in adulthood, childhood cancer is most often unrelated to lifestyle and brings with it fewer safe treatment options.

State Sen. Dave Hildenbrand, R-Lowell, has been working to generate awareness for additional funding and research in childhood cancer.

“Regardless of economic standing, race, or gender, cancer can affect anyone,” Hildenbrand said. “Our children and their families should not be faced with the burden of fighting chronic illness without at least the reassurance of reliable and safe treatment options.”

In the last 25 years, only two drugs have been specifically developed for pediatric cancers. In the last 20 years, the FDA has initially approved only one drug for childhood cancer.

Funding for research and treatment is severely lacking, with less than five percent of the federal government’s total funding for cancer research dedicated to childhood cancers. Despite rising pediatric cancer rates in the past few decades, funding for research has decreased steadily since 2003.

On Sept. 11, 2014, the Michigan Senate adopted Hildenbrand’s Senate Resolution 176, declaring September 2014 “Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.”

“Although there is still much work to be done, this resolution aims to shed light on childhood cancer in hopes of providing safer treatment options,” Hildenbrand said. “I remain committed to the health and well-being of Michigan’s children and hope that future medical advancements include contributions to pediatric cancer.”