OU teams up with Mount Clemens for annual food drive and exceeds goal

Jessica Leydet, Social Media Editor

Oakland University and the City of Mount Clemens worked together to put on a community-wide food drive supporting the Macomb Food Program. Exceeding its goal of 3000 pounds of food, it collected an impressive 3,838 pounds. In addition to the outstanding amount of food, Anderson, Eckstein & Westrick (AEW), a design firm out of Shelby Township supported the food drive by donating $4,500 to the Macomb Food Program and was the Marching Band sponsor for the Macomb County Santa Parade.

Jessica Kapnik, Unit Marketing & Enrollment Coordinator for Macomb County Outreach described how they ambitiously increased the goal from 1000 pounds of food last year after OU was able to collect nearly 1,200 pounds of food.

“In discussing the success of last year’s food drive, our Executive Director and the mayor of Mount Clemens felt it would be a good idea to partner on a community-wide food drive to help even more families need,” she said. “Close to 20 establishments, in addition the Macomb University Center and OU Anton/Frankel Center participated in the food drive.”

Kapnik said It was truly a community-wide effort that helped them surpass the goal and a lot of credit is owed to the help of AEW.

“Kyle M. Seidel, AEW’s senior project engineer for the engineering design firm presented a check to Shannon Mallory, program manager for the MFP at the Macomb County Santa Parade Reception,” she said. “The reception was held at the OU Anton/Frankel Center in Mount Clemens on Nov. 17.”

This is the third year Oakland University has hosted a collection drive to support the Macomb Food Program.  It is relevant to OU because more than one third of students, and nearly 23,000 OU alumni live within Macomb County. Additionally, OU offers a variety of bachelors and master degree programs at the Macomb University Center in Clinton Township and the Anton/Frankel Center in Mount Clemens.

Julie Dichtel, Executive Director director of Macomb County Outreach at Oakland University said that with OU’s strong presence in Macomb County, it is important to give back to the community and support organizations like the Macomb Food Program.

“The idea came from a conversation with Mt. Clemens Mayor, Barb Dempsey as we were celebrating the success of the OU food drive last year,” she said. “The Mayor and I felt that by partnering to involve others in our community, we could make an even greater impact to help those in need this holiday season. We did just that.”

The planning for the food drive began late summer and an internship opportunity was created in Macomb County this fall that provided a student leadership opportunity to coordinate all of the details involved in coordinating a successful community-wide food drive. The position of Community Engagement Intern was filled by OU student Rebecca Robbins.

“Rebecca really exceeded all expectations for the internship as demonstrated with a total donation of nearly 4,000 pounds of food exceeding our 3,000 pound goal,” Dichtel said.