The holidays will be a lot happier for many this year thanks to the Arab American and Chaldean Council (ACC).
The organization will open “The Pantry of Plenty” at 100 W. 7 Mile Road in Detroit on November 28.
The new 3,000-sq.-ft. pantry will allow the ACC to bump up food distribution to three times a week. The organization will also be able to offer more food options, including fresh produce, dairy, meats, juices and snacks thanks to a new refrigerator and freezer.
With the pantry will come new jobs.
In 2018 it will house a three-season farmers’ market and cottage industry incubator that will provide jobs to local residents. Employees will grow and prepare healthy food for sale at local markets, restaurants and through distributorships.
“Our food pantry fills a great need in the community, and we are pleased to be able to increase our support to area residents with expanded hours of service,” says ACC President and CEO Dr. Haifa Fakhouri.
Roland Ocomen and Anthony Lee, a student and graduate student respectably from the College of Creative Studies, provided a 90’ x 40’ mural for the pantry’s wall. It took over 100 hours for Lee and Ocomen to create the mural, which depicts ACC programs like the Warren Dale Health Clinic, the Youth Center and the urban the vegetable garden.
This commissioned piece also demonstrates the diverse people who benefit from the programs.
The ACC has been able to expand and make renovations because of a grant from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Administration for Children & Families Office of Community Services it received in 2015.
It also received funding from the Ford Motor Company Fund, Meijer and the United Way of Southeastern Michigan.
“Providing access to food is one of the most basic ways we are helping build stronger communities,” says Jim Vella, president, Ford Motor Company Fund. “This new pantry will not only be a source of nutrition and comfort for many families, but a first step toward a better life.”
ACC has partnered with Forgotten Harvest since December 2011 when ACC first started its food distribution program in partnership with the food rescue organization. ACC is one of Forgotten Harvest’s largest partners and distribution sites and serves as a training location for others who are looking to start their own pantry with the organization.
Over the past 6 years, ACC has provided two distribution events each month plus a Christmas Eve dinner giveaway each year in addition to the regularly scheduled events.
There will certainly be many people thankful for the ACC this season, and beyond.