The Livingston County Community Alliance (LCCA) held a meet and greet event recently for the community at the Judicial Center in Howell. The session, held on Thursday, provided the opportunity for residents to get to know more about the LCCA and its efforts.

One such effort is the result of a grant the LCCA recently received of $125,000 per year for five years to build drug prevention programs led by students. LCCA coordinator Kaitlin Fink says the event also recognized a milestone that has been reached by The Big Red Barrel, a drug takeback program facilitated by the LCCA. The barrels are placed throughout the region to collect unwanted prescription drugs, while allowing community members to dispose of their pills with no questions asked. The barrels have now collected over 10,000 pounds, or more than one ton of pills.

That’s not the only thing the program has to celebrate though. On Wednesday, the Big Red Barrel announced it will be partnering with the St. Joseph Mercy Health System and will begin by placing one of their drug-disposal barrels at the St. Joseph Mercy Livingston center in Howell. Program leaders are excited for the opportunity, noting St. Joe’s is part of the Trinity Health System, which operates 93 hospitals in the nation. (DK)