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Ahee

Pierce joins fight against world hunger



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Olla Reisen, Susan Srodawa and Kiki Simopoulos add a few more bags before taping the box for delivery.
December 06, 2012
Of the many annual community projects she coordinates, SERVE director Alicia Carlisle admits the district’s three middle schools’ partnership with Kids Against Hunger is one of her favorites.

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Pierce Middle School sixth graders participate in a SERVE community project, helping the organization, Kids Against Hunger, in its fi ght to end world hunger.
The partnership is in its fourth year. In the past, a group of students from Brownell, Parcells and Pierce middle schools met up and worked together to package the equivalent of 10,000 meals. To Carlisle, that wasn’t enough of an impact among the district’s students, so last year she adjusted the project to a rotation schedule, with Brownell, Parcells and Pierce each taking turns hosting the food-aid organization at their respective schools. Doing so opens opportunities for the shy, reserved students to participate and serve their community. Brownell hosted last year and Pierce a few weeks ago.


“You get the kids that are always doing all the stuff all the time,” Carlisle said. “So, when you open it up and you say all the sixth graders, you’re touching every kid, even the kid that wouldn’t necessarily get picked. That’s why I like it this way better.”

At Pierce, the entire sixth grade, in two separate shifts, packaged 10,000 meals, one-third of which aid one of 20 network countries, one-third serves the 100-plus Michigan-based pantries and the final third of which is stored for natural disaster relief. Each 13.8-ounce bag contains a mix of long-grain rice, a dehydrated blend of six vegetables, chicken-flavored vitamin and mineral powder and vitamin-fortified crushed soy.

“We’re looking for models, not only in Michigan, but throughout the world as far as community service projects go, and helping those that are in need,” said Michael Burwell, the Kids Against Hunger Michigan chapter’s executive director. “Obviously, Grosse Pointe has been one of the ones that said, ‘You know what, we’re going to truly make an impact, not only in the lives of people that are struggling, but also in our communities, our kids that are in the communities lives, teaching them how to do service projects.”

That’s the message Carlisle hoped for when switching the format of the Kids Against Hunger partnership: that the students of Grosse Pointe are committed to serving, to making an impact around the world and in their own community. The students have responded.

“I really think it’s nice to help people who are hungry,” student Noah Eckert said. “It’s a good service to do.”


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