By Andrea Grimaldi
ONE OF THE MANY WAYS THE HAZEL PARK SCHOOL DISTRICT supports its families and neighbors is by teaming up with the Gleaners Community Food Bank for the School Mobile Food Pantry.
Since 2016, Hazel Park Schools and Gleaners have worked together to gather fresh and canned food to give to over 100 families each month. The importance of keeping students healthy and fed cannot be understated, as Superintendent Dr. Amy Kruppe explains; “We know that facilitating the nourishment of our youth and their families does positively impact their learning capacity.”
The program aims to supplement up to 125 families with one or two full grocery bags of food. On delivery day, families in need arrive at the Hazel Park School District Ford Administration Building at 1620 E Elza and line up in their cars in the parking lot and down East Elza Street. A volunteer brings a form to the vehicle for the family to fill out, followed by the bag of food. Parents and guardians can also register for reminders on the MIStar Parent Portal. The distribution is first-come-first-serve and, due to the limited supplies, families are encouraged to arrive early.
EACH FAMILY RECEIVES A BAG CONTAINING 20 TO 30 POUNDS WITH A VARIETY of fresh fruits, vegetables, and dry goods, a gallon of milk, frozen meat, and/or eggs. Families with six or more members receive two bags. Any leftover food is saved for the food pantry available to students in the Hazel Park school district. Lisa Chrouch-Johnson, HP Schools Community Representative, encourages all students and families in need to reach out. This is not limited to food: She is available to help with other needs like paying bills, eyeglasses and medical and counseling referrals. She can be reached at (248) 6585209, or email@example.com.
Volunteers are always welcome. The students at Advantage Alternative High School make up a large part of the Mobile Food Pantry volunteers, but everyone is encouraged to help out. Contact Lisa Chrouch-Johnson to find out about volunteer opportunities. December’s distribution day is on the 20th at 9:30 A.M. at the School District Ford Administration Building. Food and financial donations can be given directly to the Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeast Michigan. They can be contacted at 866-GLEANER or www.gcfb.org.