Food-chain reaction 

Will people in metro Detroit go hungry because of last month’s terrorists attacks? Maybe.

Helen Kozlowski-Hicks, Food Bank of Oakland County executive director, says that before the attacks the food bank was receiving about 45 donations a day in response to a letter sent out in early September. After Sept. 11, that number reportedly dropped to about five a day.

She thinks money that would have gone to the food bank is instead being sent to victims of the terrorist attack. The food bank has seen a 30 percent drop in donations compared to this point last year; in October alone the group received only $14,000 in donations compared to $27,000 last year.

Now, crucial days are ahead. Kozlowski-Hicks says that the food bank receives about 70 percent of its annual donations in November and December. If things don’t pick up soon, the group will be struggling to feed the 70,000 people it serves on average each month.

Some other food providers, however, aren’t seeing the same trend — at least not yet. Sue Figurski, food coordinator for the Macomb County Food Program, says its donations are remaining steady. Nonetheless, she’s worried about what will occur during the program’s major annual food drive next month.

“We think one of two things will happen,” says Figurski. “People will be tapped out” or they may give more because the attack is “raising people’s consciousness” about those in need.

Ann Mullen contributed to News Hits, which is edited by Curt Guyette. He can be reached at 313-202-8004 or

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