News Briefs, Oct. 11

Swoop's Food Pantry expands after first year of operation

After giving out more than 20,000 pounds of food in its first year of operation, Swoop's Food Pantry has expanded to a larger site in Pierce hall at Eastern Michigan University.

Swoop's Pantry, formerly housed in Marshall building, now consists of two rooms and has a waiting room across the hall.

"The new and larger location offers an opportunity to provide more options in a confidential space with easier access,” said Haley Moraniec, founder of Swoop's Pantry, in a news release.

Last year Swoop's Pantry had over 1,200 visits and with support from Food Gatherers was able to provide students with perishable food items such as eggs, yogurt and milk along with shelf-stable items such as can openers, dish soap and other items.

The pantry's goals are to help students meet their food needs in a discrete, easily accessible and safe environment on campus. Swoop's Pantry is run by EMU faculty, staff, students and alumni volunteers and involves itself with community partners to help sustain the pantry.

This year Swoop's Pantry will be putting together Thanksgiving and holiday baskets for students who can't afford holiday meals. Anyone interested in contributing can contact the pantry either by email at or by phone at (734)-487-4173.

Blaze Pizza giving pizzas away for free on Tuesday

Blaze Pizza opened its doors to the public in its grand opening on Monday, Oct. 10 and will be hosting a free pizza day on Tuesday, Oct. 11 all day from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.

If Blaze Pizza gives away 1,000 pizzas on Tuesday it will donate a total of $5,000 to Maize & Blue Cupboard and Swoop's Student Food Pantry, the food banks that serve students at the University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University respectively.

An assembly line format allows customers to build their own artisanal pizza, which is then cooked in an open flame oven and cooked in 180 seconds.

Blaze Pizza is located in the Cranbrook Village shopping center at 980A West Eisenhower Parkway in Ann Arbor, Mich.

Washtenaw county jail inmates register to vote

The Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office partnered with the Washtenaw County Clerk's Office to provide individuals incarcerated in the county jail the opportunity to register to vote and to request absentee ballots.

Over 50 inmates expressed an interest in registering to vote according to the Washtenaw County Sheriff's Office and were given voter registration forms to fill out. The Clerk's Office provided in-person voting registration and newly registered voters were provided an absentee ballot application.

Prisoners serving a prison sentence cannot vote and were not included in the registration event.

EMU researchers conclude a need for conservation efforts in St. Clair-Detroit River System

EMU researchers and other authorities highlight the importance of improved coordination and regional conservation efforts in order to "create a better future" for the Detroit River and Lake Erie in a recently released report from 2015.

The "State of the Strait" conference was held last Dec. at EMU and the university hosted 200 researchers, scientists, local authorities and citizens. In the report "Coordinating Conservation in the St. Clair-Detroit River System" several recommendations were made.

A need for setting a common agenda and the sharing of information to increase collaborative opportunities was listed. The report also noted a need for more human well-being metrics and data in the region as well as habitat restoration, biological inventories and water quality improvements.

The State of the Strait is a binational (Canada-United States) collaboration that meets every two years to bring together government managers, researchers, students, environmental organizations and concerned citizens.

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