The West Bloomfield Feed the Force crew delivered meals last year on Thanksgiving.

The West Bloomfield Feed the Force crew delivered meals last year on Thanksgiving.

Photo provided by Noach Klein

Local Jewish communities ‘Feed the Force’

By: Kathryn Pentiuk | Southfield Sun | Published November 17, 2023


SOUTHFIELD — While many are at home enjoying the holiday with their families this Thanksgiving, law enforcement is sacrificing time with their families to ensure the safety of others.

In 2018, this thought occurred to Noach Klein and his wife, Shira, so they decided to join together with other families to provide local police forces with meals on Thanksgiving.

The initiative, now known as “Feed the Force” started with dinners purchased from Kravings for the police departments in Oak Park and Southfield, delivered by a few Jewish families to express appreciation for police officers.

Over the past few years, more of the Jewish community has become involved, and Feed the Force has expanded to feeding over 120 officers in nine communities: Berkley, Bloomfield Township, Birmingham, Farmington Hills, Huntington Woods, Lathrup Village, Oak Park, Southfield and West Bloomfield.

Last year, Bloomfield Township joined the delivery route when Rabbi Tvzi Muller, the director of the Jewish Values Institute at the Blumenstein Jewish Learning Center and the leader of the Birmingham Bloomfield Shul, discussed a similar idea with his congregation. Muller reached out to the organizer of Feed the Force for some tips on pulling off something of this scale and was invited to join Feed the Force, adding his West Bloomfield community to the route.

Muller said that joining hands with other community members who had organized the idea to give back to the police on Thanksgiving made the process a lot easier than starting from scratch.

“People enjoyed it, volunteering and being able to contribute and show their gratitude that way,” he said.

The meals are catered by Chef Cari Kosher Catering in West Bloomfield and consist of Thanksgiving classics: an oven-roasted carved turkey with fixings like gravy, cranberry sauce with orange zest, stuffing, whipped potatoes and more delicious sides.

Lt. Teresa Young of the Southfield Police Department expressed appreciation for this kind gesture on behalf of the department.

“Feed the Force brings a touch of home to a group of individuals who work tirelessly to serve the public and, often, are away from their loved ones on holidays. On a day where families and friends gather to give thanks, it is nice to be thanked. Seeing the program expand over the years to other police departments shows officers that they are appreciated and not forgotten in the hustle of the holiday season.”

Southfield resident Gabi Grossbard has volunteered with Feed the Force since its early years. He explained that it’s a great opportunity to give back and demonstrate gratitude to children by bringing them along for the visits. Grossbard also said that, through the years, he’s noticed that for the officers, it’s more than just the food; it’s the act itself and the visit.

“We feel that it’s upon us to show appreciation and recognition,” Grossbard said. “And what do you know? There’s already a day on the calendar that’s designated to show thanks and be grateful. We chose to use that day as a way to show our appreciation to the police departments in several cities here locally that protect us and go out of their way for us.”

To donate, search Feed the Force on GoFundMe.

However, organizers of the event explained that the best way to give back is to replicate this initiative in your community.