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Community helps stock Lighthouse with PB & J



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Students stock Lighthouse shelves with donations. (click for larger version)
March 26, 2014 - A food drive to collect jars of peanut butter and jelly to stock the shelves of the Lighthouse in Clarkston was a sweet success.

Clarkston resident and parent who guides her children to raise money for good causes, Beth Kirchner created "Spread the Love" with Lighthouse Pantry Manager Greg Lewis and volunteer Heather Roeser.

Now in its second year, last year 225 jars of America's favorite delicious and nutritious sandwich spreads were collected for hungry families. This year 1600 jars were collected thanks to many elementary schools, businesses and churches in Clarkston.

Schools throughout Clarkston collected the jars, and Haviland elementary in Waterford also participated.

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Organizers are hoping to ultimately collect way beyond 1600 jars.

The drive is not over yet although it was supposed to end at the end of February. Two local churches will continue collecting donations through March.

Anyone who would like to donate jars of PB & J can drop them off at Clarkston United Methodist Church or Clarkston Presbyterian Church.

When "Spread the Love" kicked in February, Lighthouse Chief Development Officer Priscilla Perkins got students excited about the drive at a pep assembly at Independence Elementary.

Lewis said PB & J is an ideal food to stock in the food pantry to help feed struggling families. Peanut butter is a food packed full of protein, and along with its partner jelly, is an easy meal to make when kids get home from school.

Lewis said the demand for help has been great since the foreclosure crisis in 2006.

"There is a great need in the community," he said. "There is a tremendous need in Oakland County."

In addition to help with food, the Lighthouse provides other emergency services like help paying rent and utilities. Lighthouse also provides housing for homeless women and children, job skill training and childcare services. To contact Lighthouse call 248.620.6116 or visit their website at www.lighthouseoakland.org

Staff writer covering Independence Township and Clarkston area.
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