Probation Department to deliver holiday food baskets

The U.S. Probation Department for Eastern Michigan will conduct its annual holiday food basket delivery to the families of 100 needy clients in eastern Michigan Dec. 21.

The project, which began some 20 years ago, is designed to forge a stronger working relationship between the eastern district’s 65 federal probation officers and the 1,600 clients they serve to prevent recidivism.

“The great part of this program is that it shows the people under supervision and their families that we are truly here to help,” said Chief U.S. Probation Officer Anthony Merolla. “One of the joys of the project is seeing the look of happiness on the faces of the families we help.”

The project is financed by employees of the U.S. District Court of Eastern Michigan who bid on gift baskets assembled by various court departments. The proceeds – nearly $4,000 last year plus cash donations from individual court employees – are used by probation officers to purchase turkeys from local grocers and holiday food items from Gleaners Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan.

The officers will meet at the Gleaners Food Bank in Detroit on the morning of Dec. 21 to assemble the food baskets and fan out across the eastern side of the state from the Ohio border to the Mackinac Bridge to deliver the baskets.


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