Photo By:Denise Patterson

Holt Community Food Bank serving the community’s neediest residents

Holt Community Food Bank, located on the grounds of Holt First Presbyterian Church, is the only food bank in Holt and Delhi Township. It was started 20 years ago by two members of the congregation after discovering that there were members in the church who were having difficulties making ends meet. What is so unique about Holt Community Food Bank is that it is exclusively run by volunteers in and outside of the community who are dedicated to serving by donating groceries and helping to prepare bags of food for those who are in need. According to Bonnie Mahieu, the food bank’s coordinator, all donations and food contributions come from people in the community, local businesses, churches, and local grocery stores like Kroger and Meijer. Mahieu also explained that HCFB is only dedicated to serving Holt residents.

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Cedar Lake Trail Head access point in the works

The Delhi Township Development Authority (DDA) is in the process of applying for a Michigan Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF) grant that could provide up to $300,000 toward an access point to Cedar Lake for recreation activities. The Cedar Lake Trail Head as it is called will allow for parking and access to trails as well as a launch for canoes and kayaks. A public input meeting was held on Feb. 21 where the project was discussed before the Delhi Township Board of Trustees and recommended for a public hearing on March 7. The application will be sent to the Michigan DNR.

Holt High School, pictured, is one of the many places in Holt students can go to receive specialized special education curriculum.

In Holt, special education is underfunded but still successful, officials say

There are about 35 professionals and 65 parent professionals that make up Holt Public School’s special education staff. But according to the director of special education across the district, Wayne Abbott, it’s enough for Holt.

“We individualize programs and services to the needs of the particular student,” Abbott said. This is all thanks to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which was signed into law in 1990. Across the country, just like students in Holt, students with disabilities are given what is called an Individualized Education Program, or IEP. It’s a federal mandate that many fear is in jeopardy under the new Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos.

Image of Spartan Stadium in East Lansing. Photo taken by Andy Chmura

Nearby MSU gets cash registers to ring in Holt

For some, in order to enjoy their favorite sports team they need to be in their favorite restaurant or bar enjoying their favorite drinks and appetizers. This increase in customers benefit businesses financially but restaurant owners know not to depend on these customers for sales every weekend because they are “band wagoners” that will stop supporting their team if they stop winning. Michigan State sports have been major players in weekend activities for residents and in nearby Holt and Delhi Township. Holt and Delhi Township are only about 10 miles away from Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, but fans that cannot make it to the game travel to their local bar and grills to enjoy the game with other fans. Restaurant owners take advantage of these customers to help increase their sales by making appetizers and drinks half-off and by purchasing larger televisions so that customers can sit at their tables to relax and enjoy the games instead of having to sit at the bar.

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The key to good Holt-brewed coffee? “Start with a good bean.”

Neither knew a thing about the coffee business. Tim was “vehemently against” coffee. Shawn’s furthest foray into coffee was a cup or two on a regular basis. Still, after personally attending to the business’ account, the opportunity to grow the company further was too good to pass up.

And so they said yes.

Yet, after a decade of growing the now the thirty year plus business into an international wholesale supplier of premium coffee beans and products, the same meticulous care that went into building the company is given even to the gloves of the business’ main roaster.

75 flavors, an international presence and a niche in the one of the world’s most traded commodities, all resides on the corner of Aurelius Road and Cedar Street in a moderate brown building.

Elliott Elementary School Park photo by Denise Patterson

What to do with kids after school? There aren’t many cheap options in Holt

Holt is one of the many school districts that no longer have free or affordable after-school programs. Parents that cannot afford before-and-after care are left cutting their work hours to pick up their children, leaving them home alone, or having family or friends pick them up until they are able to get off work. Unfortunately, Holt Public School District has a strict budget that does not include coverage for free after school programs at every school in the district. Parents can either switch schools or come up with a solution themselves. According to David Hornak, Holt Public Schools superintendent, “keeping in mind how the budget is set up, adding free after-school programs to each school in the district year-round is simply impossible. There has to be money to pay the staff who will lead these programs and money to feed the children who participate in the programs.”

After school programs are not meant to be “babysitters” but they are the reason why crimes committed by young people are decreasing.The lack of after school supervision put children at a higher risk to participate in criminal activity and an array of other problems that could have been prevented because of free after school programs.

Maria Sanchez mother of three Elliott Elementary boys says that she has missed several days of work this week because she is not comfortable with leaving her 8-year-old triplets home alone with the recent burglaries that has happened in the neighborhood.