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SOUTHFIELD, Mich.-- The Associated Food Dealers of Michigan -- the voice of Michigan's food and beverage industry, representing nearly 3,000 retailers, wholesalers, distributors, and manufacturers -- is calling for $75 million in disaster relief for Michigan's retail food industry in the wake of the recent power outages in the East and Midwest.
"In spite of the great job that DTE Energy did to restore power and our law enforcement officials' efforts to keep order during the recent power outage, our retail food stores suffered great losses," said Michael G. Sarafa, the association's president.
Noting that more than $50 million in perishable foods was lost due to lack of refrigeration, Sarafa said looting also occurred and many stores suffered loss of income because they could not stay open without power.
While many stores chose to give product away before it went bad rather than throw it away, Sarafa said many of the stores that suffered the greatest losses are uninsured or underinsured. "Unfortunately, redlining occurs with business interruption insurance and disaster insurance, as well," Sarafa said.
"If Gov. Granholm is going to seek federal disaster relief, then part of that equation should include the businesses that suffered the greatest losses, [such as] the retail food industry," Sarafa added.