“‘When you reap the harvest of your land, you must not reap the edge of your field completely and you must not pick up the gleaning of your harvest. Also, you must not gather the leftovers of your vineyard or pick up the scattered grapes of your vineyard. You should leave them for the poor and the foreign resident. I am Jehovah your God.” – Leviticus 19:9, 10
By Valerie D. Lockhart
SUN EXECUTIVE EDITOR
A homeless man digs through a trash can in search of returnable bottles and food. Holding up a crumbled paper bag, he unravels it and finds a half eaten sandwich.
What may appear as trash to some is view as a life saving treasure to others.
Since days of old, provisions were made to care for the poor. They were not forgotten. Leftovers were not thrown away like useless waste. The Israelites were told to leave the edges of their fields for the poor to harvest.
Today, tons of edible food is thrown away daily at restaurants, sporting events, parties, celebrations and even at the dinner table.
Using ancient principles, Forgotten Harvest is making sure that area poor are not forgotten but are taken care of in a loving responsible way.
“Forgotten Harvest is a great concept. It is setup to address a reality in our food system – waste,” explains Kirk Mayes, the organization’s CEO. “A lot of food is wasted and it goes to the landfills that breaks down and creates damaging gas. We capture that food and give it to thousands of people in need.”
Food, such as day old donuts, pizzas left in warmers for longer than 90 minutes, leftover hotdogs from vending stations at sporting arenas, and surplus food catered at special events and fruit markets, is no longer headed to landfills but is distributed to people in need at homeless shelters, schools, churches, social service agencies and more.
Understanding the trials one may undergo to obtain food, prompted Dr. Nancy Fishman to found the organization in 1990.
“She was going through a transition in her life - a divorce. She never had to ask anyone for assistance. She was in a vulnerable state and had to go to an organization for assistance. She saw other mothers in need,” said Mayes. “When her situation changed, she vowed to go back to help. She found an article about a woman using a station wagon to collect food. She had a jeep and started going to restaurants for food. A group of leaders from the Jewish community came together to address hunger issues. There was an article written about Fishman in the Jewish news. Leaders got behind her to support Forgotten Harvest.”
That support has now grown to over 800 donors and 150,000 volunteers, which also help to run a 100-acre farm in Fenton where fresh produce is planted.
Forgotten Harvest rescued over 45 million pounds of food last year, which was given to over 250 agencies throughout Wayne, Oakland and Macomb Counties.
“Helping people with food have turned into a commodity and supplements gaps in people lives. One of the most cost effect modules in the nation,” added Mayes. “I’m proud to be affiliated with this organization. We’re proud to do the most with the dollars given.”
Volunteers and donations are welcomed. On June 17th, Seth Meyers, an Emmy Award-winning writer and late night TV host, will host the 25th Annual Comedy Night at the Fox Theatre will all proceeds benefiting Forgotten Harvest.
“It makes me feel good to be a part of this organization. It’s a part of what the Lord blessed me in this life to do,” says Mayes. “It’s a privilege to come from a family who understands poverty on a personal level, and then go to a good school and come back and give back. We help people in their most vulnerable state. I have a fear of messing up. I know how important this job is, so I operate with cautious optimism. I’m happy and humble.”
For additional information, call (248)967-1500.
By Gloria Cunningham,
SPECIAL TO THE SUN
The third annual Detroit Fly-In was hosted by the Tuskegee Airmen during the Memorial Day Weekend 2017 at the Coleman A. Young International Airport. The two-fold purpose of this three day event was to expose youth and adults to the field of aviation and recruit students to attend DPSCD’s Benjamin O. Davis Aerospace Technical High School. This event is always held the third weekend in May.
Each day’s specific focus was geared toward various segments of the community. On Friday, hundreds of youth attended from seven Detroit area schools: Fisher Upper, A.L. Holmes, Greenfield Union, Carsons, Emerson, Beckham, and Duke Ellington. All students participated in hands-on activities that includedvendors, Davis recruiters, safety exercises, and creating an interactive display of LED lighted Star Base model airplanes (sponsored by a generous $10,000 grant from AT&T) to take home. They met 95-year-old, POW Lt. Col. Alexander Jefferson and on the Flight Line saw the WWII,P51 Red Tail plane that he flew. Other vintage aircrafts seen were the Black Hawk Helicopter, and the huge KC 125 Transporter out of Selfridge Air National Guard Base, to name a few. Further, students were connected to 40 different fields in aviation to consider as they approach their high school education.
Saturday’s focus was dedicated to the community and Sunday saw a salute to Veterans. Similar activities were planned with some changes and additions. The involved Tuskegee Airmen leaders gave inspirational and motivational words of encouragement to all that attended during each of the three days, while the all-female Skydiving Team “Misty Blues” landed graciously from the blue sky.
Davis Aerospace has quite a legacy to uphold. This original DPS school opened its doors in 1943 as Aero Mechanics High School on the grounds of Detroit City Airport. The school expanded to three different locations on the airfield grounds and had its own hanger to accommodate the growing enrollment. Due to several misevaluations of the facilitates by school officials, the school was moved to Golightly Technical Center in 2013. These students, at this FAA certified school, suffered a huge disadvantage by not having access to daily necessary airport amenities.
Davis Aerospace High School has a Sub-Advisory committee comprised of a community of people who all support Davis Aerospace school. Meetings are held every Tuesday at 1:30 pm at the school during the year, and at the Coleman Young Airport during the summer. The involved Tuskegee Airmen are all DPS alumni.
Tuskegee Airmen is a National Organization founded in Detroit by Lt. Col A. Jefferson. Tuskegee Airmen-DPS Alumni include: Lt. Col. Lawrence Millben, 1st African American to graduate from Aero Mechanics in the 50’s; Master Electrician, Keith Hines ’73 Aero Mechanics alum; Master Sgt. Alfonzo King ’67 Southeastern alum; and Beverly Kindle-Walker ’72 King High School alum, who was instrumental in giving the dynamic details for this article and assisting in moving the Detroit-Fly In forward. She is Ex Director of Friends of Detroit City Airport, (313)822-2237 questions welcomed.
To keep young people involved, the Silver Air Patrol, Detroit 100th Composite Squadron is being reactivated. Youth from ages 12 to 15 are invited to participate every Wed. 7 p.m. at CAY Airport (Detroit City Airport).