Mall runs food, clothing drives for schools, food program

By: Kevin Bunch | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published December 16, 2015

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ROSEVILLE — Macomb Mall has brought back its food drive for a second year and added a coat and clothing drive to help Roseville students.

The food drive is running through Dec. 18, while the coat drive will continue until Dec. 31, according to Macomb Mall Marketing Manager Samantha Grosman. She said the mall has been in the community for more than 50 years, and as such, the managerial staff wanted to do something to give back. The mall partnered with the Macomb Food Program and Roseville Community Schools.

Grosman said that for the food drive, the mall is collecting nonperishable foodstuffs at marked donation boxes throughout the mall.

“The Macomb County Food Program distributes it to the local families in need throughout Macomb County that will need help this holiday season putting food on the table,” Grosman said. “For every food item donated from now until (Dec. 18), the mall is going to donate a dollar to the Macomb Food Program up to $2,500.”

She said high-protein foods — like peanut butter, canned chicken and fish, chili, soups, stews, and macaroni and cheese — are particularly needed, though they welcome any nonperishable donations. The donation points are in the mall center and at the Santa Claus area, Grosman added.

Last year, the food donation program was successful enough that the mall reached that $2,500 donation goal, and Grosman said they are hoping to repeat that achievement.

The winter-weather clothing drive is new this year. Grosman said they wanted to help out the local schools, and given the mall’s existing relationship with Roseville Community Schools, it was a natural choice.

“Even though it’s been a mild winter so far, it’s Michigan. We know cold weather is on its way, and a lot of our students walk to school, or walk to the bus stop, or walk home,” Grosman said. “It’s a good way to give back to them because they’re always at the mall doing performances for us, and finding some way to partner with them seemed like a great way to give back this time of year.”

The mall is accepting hats, scarves, coats, mittens and gloves, she said, with donation bins outside of Old Navy and at the Santa Claus area.

Roseville Assistant Superintendent Mark Blaszkowski said the mall is really in charge of the coat drive program, and district officials have not yet discussed how the items will be distributed to students in need; that decision has to wait until they know how much clothing they have to hand out, he said.

“(Samantha will) call us after to determine what we’re going to do, so we will know more after the fact,” Blaszkowski said. “She’s really running that as a Macomb Mall activity, and we’re reaping the benefits.”

Grosman said that at this point, she knows the goods will be dropped off with the district and then distributed.

The mall is located at 32233 Gratiot Ave. in Roseville.