Helping out at Gleaners

Student body President Antonio Malkoun organized a recent community service trip to Gleaners Food Bank. Last year, Gleaners distributed 46 million pounds of emergency food to more than 550 partner soup kitchens, shelters and pantries in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb, Livingston and Monroe counties. We alleviate hunger by providing the equivalent of more than 100,000 meals a day to people who otherwise cannot afford the food they need. Here’s what he had to say about it.

These students spent a warm summer Monday helping Gleaners Food Bank prepare food for distribution to those in need.

These students spent a warm summer Monday helping Gleaners Food Bank prepare food for distribution to those in need.

Our first student-organized trip to Gleaners was a success. Sixteen students elected to use one of their summer Mondays to help the community. Our group carpooled down to Gleaners of Detroit, and spent two hours packing canned and dry food that would be sent to those in need around Wayne County. When they were done, we had packaged up 3,600 pounds of food.

Along with the obvious benefit to those in need, our students benefited from a heightened sense of camaraderie, especially with our chaperone, a new addition to the faculty at Liggett, Mr. Bronk.

The 16 students packed 3,600 tons of food.

The 16 students packed 3,600 tons of food.

Our next trip is on Tuesday, August 6. We hope to have an even bigger group representing Liggett in our community! Thanks to those who participated, I look forward to working with you again!

By Antonio Malkoun

Sweet treats all around

A year’s worth of cupcakes and cookies sold at $1 and 50 cents added up to quite a donation to Crossroads East recently, and it’s all due to the dedicated service of rising ninth-grader Mary Shepard.

Crossroads East, which uses part of a church on Moross near I-94 is one of two Detroit locations for the social service outreach agency founded in 1971.  Crossroads exists to support the community at large by providing emergency assistance, advocacy and counseling to anyone in need of prescriptions, medical supplies, employment assistance, transportation, identification, food, clothing and other aid.

From left are Janice Coleman, supervisor at Crossroads, Zisa Maybin, Crossroads volunteer coordinator, Mary Shepard, Jill Bommariot of Ethel's Edibles and Liggett's Head of Middle School Jim Brewer

From left are Janice Coleman, supervisor at Crossroads, Zisa Maybin, Crossroads volunteer coordinator, Mary Shepard, Jill Bommariot of Ethel’s Edibles and Liggett’s Head of Middle School Jim Brewer

Mary has a long history with Crossroads, from when her mother, Karen, used to work there. The workers remember Mary pitching in to do anything that needed doing. Karen left Crossroads to work for Ethel’s Edibles in St. Clair Shores, whose owner, Jill Bommarito, donated all the baked goods Mary sold. The gluten-free sweet treats were still fresh products, unsold by end of day and were donated for the bake sale held every Tuesday.

Mary didn’t make her donation until after school ended. “I thought if we collected money over a long time we could help with a bigger donation in the summer,” she said. In late June, Mary donated a check for $1,000 to the organization.

“We are extremely appreciative of Mary’s work and donation for Crossroads,” said Crossroads Executive Director Mary Honsel. The donation will help support the social services program at Crossroads East at 21230 Moross Road, and the main office at 2424 West Grand Boulevard.

Though Mary has finished eighth grade at Liggett, Ethel’s Edibles is committed to providing bakery products for the upcoming school year. “Even though Mary is moving on, we decided, with the school’s permission, to continue to help raise funds for Crossroads with subsequent Liggett bake sales,” said Bommarito.

Ethel’s Edibles, which bakes only gluten free products, was founded two years ago and its products are now available at 15 metro Detroit grocery stores and specialty markets and at Detroit’s Eastern Market. Ethel’s Edibles is a dedicated gluten free baking company. The company also ships direct.

By Ron Bernas