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Northville’s Cooke School students assist amazing non-profit

 Northville’s Cooke School students assist amazing non-profit

Cooke teacher Sydnee Klacko is pictured with students and staff who have helped make The Kids Table a resounding success.

Nothing makes the students at Northville’s Cooke School smile broader than helping out the 1-year-old non-profit The Kids’ Table, which is dedicated to providing children and families in southeast Michigan with community-based resources to overcome issues caused by food insecurity.

“The students can’t wait until it’s their turn to help,” said Martha Michalak, the president of The Kids’ Table. “Watching them engage in the distribution of supplies to people affected by food insecurity is a beautiful thing.”

A longtime volunteer and igniter of community-enhancing organizations, Michalak said the idea for The Kids’ Table — and the subsequent collaboration with Cooke School — was spawned by the reality that families struggle with food and basic supply shortages in every community — even in seemingly affluent ones like Northville.

“This organization is for communities throughout southeast Michigan, but we’re focusing on Northville first because that’s where we live,” said Michalak, who is joined on the executive board by Vice President Andrea Johanson, Secretary Jennifer Mihalich, and Directors Jennifer Luikart and Maria Simonte.

The food insecurity struggle is real

“A lot of people have the perception that everyone who lives in Northville is rich, but that’s simply not the case. There are people struggling with food insecurities just like in all communities.”

The Northville organization 100 Women Who care made a significant donation to The Kids Table
The Northville organization 100 Women Who care made a significant donation to The Kids Table

Once Michalak shared her idea with Northville Public Schools Executive of Special Services Beth Santer, the ball started rolling toward recruiting the assistance of Cooke School students and staff.

Cooke School teacher Sydnee Klacko took the bull by the horns and before anyone knew it, a food pantry for The Kids’ Table had been established at Cooke.

Cooke students do everything from stock the shelves of the pantry to load and unload food donations.

The organization’s mission has resonated throughout the Northville community as donations — both food and monetary — have poured in.

One local organization — 100 Women Who Care — presented The Kids’ Table with a check for $14,200 to help purchase food and other essential items for in-need families.

The organization’s impact on the community has been profound. During its first six months of the food pantry at Cooke, The Kids Table donated over three tons of food and provided 500 meals to families.

The Kids’ Table team and volunteers have contributed nearly 700 hours of service to help fight hunger and raise awareness about food insecurity in our community.

Upcoming events that will benefit The Kids’ Table include Wines of the World 2024, the fifth annual charity wine-tasting event set for Northville Square on Friday, May 17.

Ed Wright can be reached at 734-664-4657 or

The Kids' Table volunteers
The Kids Table volunteers


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Ed Wright

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