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Students find entrepreneurial spirit through soup and bread fundraiser

(Photo Courtesy/Mike Beiermeister) ACES Academy Student MacKenzie Tolan assembles bread for the bread and soup fundraiser going on to support Project Student Entrepreneurs and "Ken's March Against Senior Hunger."

Alpena, Mich. Every week, the Alpena Senior Center’s ‘Meals on Wheels’ program serves hundreds of meals to seniors in the area.

The organization has a dedicated kitchen staff, but they can always use an extra hand. Students from ACES Academy serve as that helping hand in exchange for school credit and commercial kitchen experience.

Today, ACES student MacKenzie Tolan was in the kitchen, preparing ‘Meals on Wheels’ entrees. For Program Manager BJ Sander, students like MacKenzie are a tremendous help to their mission of serving seniors in the community.

“She’s probably gotten enough credits where she could’ve graduated, but she loves the program, so she’s a pretty faithful participant in what we do here,” said Sander. “We’ve got five other kids that are just as amazing as she is, they’ve all just really blossomed here at the center.”

This is the second year of partnership between the senior center and ACES Academy. This year, students are challenged to be entrepreneurs, so they created a bakery thanks to a grant from the Michigan Health Endowment Fund. This month, they are having a soup and bread sale to help support their program and donate back to ‘Ken’s March Against Senior Hunger’ which helps the ‘Meals on Wheels’ program.

“Every time I see them do something in here or even out in the community, I feel like a proud momma even though I’m not their mother,” said Sander.

The bread and soup is made fresh every week by students and the kitchen staff. This week’s soups are chicken noodle, cream of broccoli, and Russian. Folks can pick up the soup they order on each Friday at the senior center. Soup and bread costs $12. A quart of soup is $8. A loaf of bread is $4. Secure your order of soup and bread by calling the Alpena Senior Center at 989–356–3585.