Photo courtesy of City of Sterling Heights                                                                                                                                         Blessings in a Backpack Fundraising Chairperson Bob Maynard (left center) presents Community Service Awards to Sterling Heights Police Officers and Fire Fighters during the Oct. 1 City Council meeting. Sterling Heights Police Officers Association President Mike Kunath (left of Maynard) accepts the award on behalf of the Police Officers Association.

By Jennifer Gomori, MAP Editor

Sterling Heights Police Officers and Fire Fighters were recently honored for going above and beyond the call of duty by donating $4,000 in September to help a local charity fight child hunger in their community.

Blessings in a Backpack – Utica, a program that provides weekend meals for needy children at three Sterling Heights elementary schools throughout the school year, honored Sterling Heights Police Officers Association, a MAP-represented unit, and Sterling Heights Fire Fighters at an Oct. 1 Sterling Heights City Council meeting.

The police officers and firefighters made the donation from a portion of funds they received selling t-shirts promoting Safe Streets Renewal, a millage renewal for fire, police and street improvements which will be on the Nov. 5, 2019 ballot.

Blessings in a Backpack Fundraising Chairperson Bob Maynard presented the unions with Community Service Awards during the meeting. But police and firefighters were not expecting a second award from the City Council. They were honored with Sterling Heights Nice Neighbor Awards, a program established to recognize homeowners who do what they can to improve the quality of life for their neighbors.

“The first award was from Blessings in a Backpack. It was a Community Service Award for fighting child hunger in our community,” said MAP Executive Board Vice President Mike Kunath, who is Sterling Heights Police Officers Association President. “Then, City Council surprised us and they gave us a Nice Neighbor Award. Typically, that’s for people in the community."

Blessings in a Backpack is hosting many community fundraising events including a Halloween Run Against Hunger Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019. To help join the fight against child hunger, please visit for more information.