31 Backpacks providing food for students on holiday break

HANCOCK — Most schools in the area will begin Christmas vacation at the end of next week giving students and faculty both a chance to enjoy, not only a break from each other, but some family time as well. As many look forward to that, a local non profit organization in the Keweenaw Peninsula is making sure that those students have plenty to eat through the holiday season, and could use your help.

Looking out for one another is a strong characteristic of many UP residents, and that rings true in the Keweenaw Peninsula just as much as anywhere else in Yooperland.

“We are providing in the neighborhood of 200 students with food to last them over that 12 day period so they can enjoy their holiday as well,” said Melissa Maki, co-founder of 31 Backpacks.

Throughout the year 31 Backpacks strives to supplement the diets of students throughout the Copper Country who don’t have enough to eat at home. With school districts pausing for two weeks to recognize the holidays, the non profit organization steps up to fill an even larger gap.

“We have students that were getting breakfast, lunch and snack at school but were going without food on the weekends,” Maki added. “If they’re going without on the weekends, imagine what they’re doing for this extended time off of school.”

Sunday volunteers will met at the church and move thousand of pounds of groceries that were delivered this afternoon and will make it’s way to the tables of boys and girls in need.

“Sunday at 2:00 after the services are done, we’re going to be ,moving everything that’s in the sanctuary that’s on the right side on to the left. We’ll put all of the products out and take them out of the wrapping so they’re ready to go. I can’t imagine it taking more than a couple of hours. We want anybody that wants to come out to please come out. The more the merrier, we’re not going to turn anybody down we have something for everyone to do.”

Volunteers are being sought for both Sunday and Monday which will be repackaging day.

“And then Monday night is the actual “Big Pack” we’d like you to be here at 5:45 at the latest. We’ll be underway at 6:00 and it is a minor contribution to help put some of the kids in your community. Your friends and your neighbors and make sure they have a good holiday season as well.”

If you would like to help and participate in the local fight against hunger you can simply show up.

“We certainly could use your manpower help. This weekend is really important for us and that’s at 601 Ingot in Hancock. We always tell people it’s the big brown church. Drive around the back that’s where the main entrance is.”

ABC 10’s Keweenaw Bureau Reporter Lee Snitz.