Detroit, Michigan is known for its harsh winters.  The inclement weather combined with personal hardship makes it difficult for many of its citizens to shop for quality food on a timely basis.  With that in mind several area retailers have banded together to address the transportation problems of the elderly, the handicapped and the disadvantaged to ensure that they have at the minimum weekly access to a local supermarket.  The stores, Imperial, Krown, Banner and Apollo, all owned by the Shina family and under the Spartan Stores umbrella are taking the unusual step of paying local churches and/or schools with buses to shuttle those in need to their stores.  What they need now is the support of qualified churches or schools to make the program complete.

“All we are asking is that the “transporters” meet some minimal expectations, like having a bus that can transport at least 25 people and it meets all of the standards required by the city and/or state (valid licensed driver, insurance, inspection certification).  We will pay $100.00 per trip, according to Mazin Shina, the owner of Imperial.  There are no restrictions as to how many trips per day or week…we will pay.”  No minimum purchases required either!  That could add up to a tidy sum for any enterprising church that is looking for ways to pay off some of its debts or is just looking for another reason to do something good for the community.  It is a win-win-win situation…for the church, the community and the stores!

Mazin Shina owner of Imperial Supermarket in Detroit

The group of stores represents 4 non-competitive territories of the city, basically covering the northwest side (7 Mile & Evergreen), the north central (8 Mile & Conant), east central (Caniff & Mound) and south central (Schaefer & Lyndon).  Therefore it should be very easy to find partners for the program as word gets out about the program.

“We feel it will be important to help the people shop within their existing neighborhoods where they are most comfortable.  They know our people…our employees; they are their neighbors and friends, too.  Anything that we can do to ensure that our customers are happy is a good thing, especially when the weather starts to change and it will be hard for anybody to get around.”

“So people get ready”!  Let’s get those buses rollin’!  If you are an official with a church and want to get involved in this program all you have to do is contact Arthur Littsey at (313) 369-1710 or at and if you are a reader address this article with your church leaders to see if they or a church that they know that is qualified can become part of this very important initiative.  The opportunities has been defined and presented and now the solution is in your hands.