Annual canned food drive makes beneficial changes to localize donations


Cartoon by Jen Toenjes ’16

To localize the annual canned food drive this year, Student Association has renamed the event “Food for Friends”, with donations going to Marcus Garvey Academy in Detroit, as opposed to the Salvation Army.

Marcus Garvey Academy strives to provide aid for their students. The pre-K to 8th grade school provides after-school tutoring, as well as serving students dinner every night until 6 p.m. Sometimes this dinner is the biggest meal the students receive, and the school is often the primary source of food for students during the school year. South’s drive aims to support the school by supplying canned food, which will in turn assist up to 130 families.

Previous food drives held by SA have received anywhere from 5,000 to 10,000 cans, and we as a school should strive to not just match those numbers, but exceed them.

This food drive is a meaningful opportunity to reach out and support a community that we would otherwise ignore, as well as an opportune moment to, through our charitable endeavors, reflect upon Grosse Pointe’s relationship with Detroit.

The tale of our two cities is a hushed, touchy subject. The relationship between the Pointes and neighboring Detroit communities has been long marred by barriers, both physical, as in the case of the Kercheval roadblock, and socioeconomic. While Detroit Public Schools (Marcus Garvey Academy included) is currently at the mercy of turbulent legislation battles sparked by teacher strikes for better pay and working conditions, South is insulated from such problems. It’s easy to pay little regard to the city outside of our comfortable bubble, and our tendency to set aside the issues hitting Detroit spawns isolation and even prejudice.

Reaching out to Detroit Public Schools and extending a helping hand is a positive step towards understanding one another. We often draw lines we are too scared to cross and we build walls that blind us from the issues surrounding us. And the fact of the matter is, all of that is unnecessary. We can be the generation that will strengthen and embrace a healthy relationship with Detroit, a sister city that we cannot possibly ignore.

South has many events throughout the year that help out the community, however, much like December’s annual Adopt-A-Family event, this is a more personal endeavor. This is a chance to make a direct change in the lives of people in our local area.

We, as an editorial board, support this change, and we encourage the entire student body to do so as well as we make strides towards breaking down walls, lending a helpful hand to our neighbors and making a positive difference in the community surrounding us.