Gleaners volunteering experience educates De La Salle students

De La Salle Collegiate High School brands itself on being “Builders of Boys, Makers of Men”. The venerable Roman Catholic all-boys high school was founded in 1926 in Detroit. The school moved to its current location, on Common Road in Warren, MI, in 1982. Like many schools, De La Salle requires its students to do community service work, hoping the kids will understand the importance of giving back to others and social justice. A couple of years ago, however, De La Salle tweaked its service requirements, opting instead to have all students complete one group service project with its homeroom during the school year.

Enter Gleaners Community Food Bank, with its nearby Detroit headquarters location, complete with a large warehouse and distribution center, ideal for big group gatherings. More importantly, De La Salle leaders were drawn by Gleaners’ mission to solve hunger.

“A big part for us coming to Gleaners with our students is the education piece,” said Brian Barker, Director of Campus Ministry at De La Salle, who brought two groups of students to Gleaners early in March. “The students learn from the Gleaners staff who they are helping out and where the food they pack is going.”

Gleaners offers valuable lessons to De La Salle students and perspective on the widespread hunger issue thousands of people in southeast Michigan face.

“Most of our students at De La Salle aren’t food insecure,” Barker said. “Coming to Gleaners is an eye opening experience. It helps the boys understand the problem of hunger, the reality of it, something they likely wouldn’t otherwise experience,” added Barker.

By the time the school year concludes in June, more than 200 De La Salle students will have packed food for southeast Michigan’s hungriest kids and families. “We are grateful to have a place like Gleaners, where our students can practice social justice, team building and begin to live out our motto of being a school that is a ‘Builder of Boys and Maker of Men,’” Barker said.

If you’d like to join the De La Salle students in helping solve the problem of hunger by volunteering at Gleaners, we’d love to have you. Click here to view our volunteer opportunities. 

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