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31 Backpacks receives a $10,000 donation towards helping kids

Published: Oct. 26, 2020 at 6:45 PM EDT
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HANCOCK, Mich. (WLUC) - Keweenaw Health Foundation donated $10,000 to the non-profit organization to keep food on kids' tables.

31 Backpacks Vice President, Melissa Maki, said the number of students at risk for going without food in their organization jumped from 225 students to 2,100 once the pandemic hit the country and schools shut down.

“That, of course, was unexpected by everybody and was a tremendous financial burden for us,” Maki said.

Not only that, but the pantry shut down briefly in the spring and the volunteer staff decreased.

“We ended up losing a lot of volunteers," Maki said. "Primarily because of age and health issues and we have some volunteers that are in quarantine and out of quarantine. So, it’s kind of a mixed bag every week. We never know what to expect.”

The pantry is now back to full capacity, but the donation helps it stay that way. Keweenaw Health Foundation Executive Director, Edward Jenich, said the money is going to the right place.

“We feel it’s a worth-while project," Jenich said. "As Melissa had stated, there’s a lot of young children that are out there and they’re hungry.”

Grocery bags are filled up with food, snacks and hygiene products each week.

Whether it’s time or money, visit 31 Backpacks Facebook page to find out how to contribute to the non-profit.

If you prefer to donate money, Maki said cash is the best option because their organization gets more money for their dollar.

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