OU aids Macomb Food Program

By: Julie Snyder | C&G Newspapers | Published November 30, 2017

 Jim Burdette, a driver for the Macomb Food Program, and Oakland University students and staff prepare to load 1,000 pounds of food donated through OU’s food drive. The drive has already netted 1,000 pounds of food for families in need, and it will continue through Dec. 15.

Jim Burdette, a driver for the Macomb Food Program, and Oakland University students and staff prepare to load 1,000 pounds of food donated through OU’s food drive. The drive has already netted 1,000 pounds of food for families in need, and it will continue through Dec. 15.

Photo by Deb Jacques

MOUNT CLEMENS/CLINTON TOWNSHIP — A massive food drive effort at Oakland University’s Anton/Frankel Center in Mount Clemens means more meals for more families in need this holiday season.

The drive to aid the Macomb Food Program was launched on Nov. 18, when close to 300 OU students, employees and alumni took part in the Macomb County Santa Parade in downtown Mount Clemens.

Staff member Dana Carreon said word spread quickly at not just the Anton/Frankel Center, but also at the Macomb University Center in Clinton Township and at OU’s main campus in Rochester Hills.

“On that first day we collected more than 800 pounds of food, and our original goal was 500 pounds,” said Carreon. “We’ve gotten more and more involvement each year.”

Due to the tremendous number of donations received so far, the team of 275 has widened its goal to 1,000 pounds, which it reached by Nov. 29, and has extended the collection deadline to Dec. 15.

That 1,000 pounds of food was picked up by Macomb Community Action’s Macomb Food Drive on Nov. 29. A second pickup will take place at the Anton/Frankel Center after Dec. 15 and before Christmas.

The Macomb Food Program, which is warehoused in Clinton Township, is a nonprofit organization that’s been around since 1975. The program provides immediate relief to more than 50 local pantries and other hunger relief groups.

Program Director Shannon Mallory said their mission has always been to provide food to hungry people in Macomb County.  

“To accomplish this, we distribute food to our network of over 50 pantries and hunger organizations at no cost,” she said. “The donated food will go directly to the shelves of our pantry partners and then into the hands of those in need of food and facing the pain of hunger.”

A complete list of the food pantry network is available at mca.macombgov.org/MCA-ES-Food. Those in need can also call the United Way 211 to find pantry locations near their home.

Julie Dichtel, executive director of OU’s Macomb County Outreach Program, said drives like this are a large part of academic life.

“OU does a whole lot in the community in terms of community service,” she said. “We have a team of runners in the Let’s Move Festival of Races and a team in the Tara Grant Memorial Walk, and our alumni hosts events at Jimmy John’s Field to support these local endeavors.”

Carreon said nonperishable food donations can be dropped off at any of the three OU campus centers.

“I think the food drive was so successful this year because it’s become tradition — there’s a sense of loyalty to it,” she said. “It’s tradition now to come together for a positive cause.”

OU’s Anton/Frankel Center is located at 10 S. Main St. in Mount Clemens; the Macomb University Center is located at 44575 Garfield Road in Clinton Township; and the OU Main Campus is located at 318 Meadowbrook Road in Rochester Hills.