March is a tough month for 31 Backpacks. It started with Finlandia and Michigan Tech Universities going on vacation for a week, which depletes some of the weekly volunteers that help sort and prepare food supplies for less fortunate area students. Lending a hand were personnel from Michigan State Police’s Calumet post.
Spring break for K-12 pupils is on the horizon, and that requires the organization to prepare for the Spring Big Pack. Beginning Sunday, supplies lasting for nine days will be laid out for pick up by bus drivers from districts across the Copper Country. Volunteers are needed at Glad Tidings Assembly of God Church on Ingot Street in Hancock that afternoon from 3:00 to 6:00. The next night at 6:00 sharp, all items are put into color coded bags to account for food allergies and other conditions. Then Tuesday morning at 7:45, help will be required to load everything onto the buses.
Organizer Melissa Maki says this is truly a great way to give back to your neighborhood.
The organization’s packs for Christmas and Spring Breaks are its biggest, but it needs volunteers throughout the school year. On average, over 2000 meals, almost 1,000 servings of fruit and almost 900 snacks are served per week.