Our Backpack Buddies program began when our confirmation students noticed a community need back in the fall of 2017. By February 2018, our students were packing food for Emerald Elementary School children who might otherwise go hungry for the weekend. The program only grew from that initial confirmation class project. It gained broader support from our congregation and community, and today it thrives thanks to our volunteers and continued generous support from people like you. We now provide food for hundreds of children and their families through Emerald Elementary School, Head Start, and Saint Francis Catholic School. During the school year, we deliver food weekly on Wednesdays or Thursdays so that they can be distributed on Fridays. During the summer we typically send backpacks to Schoolcraft County’s Camp-Can-Do day camp on a less regular schedule depending on the need and number of kids attending camp. We also may offer summertime distributions from our church building about once a month. Our principal volunteers that make Backpack Buddies happen today are: Jo-Nell Berger, Kathy Peterson, Linda Levin, Kay MacGregor, Janet Kreuger, and John Barry.
If you would like to support this vital food justice ministry, monetary donations are preferred. You can designate funds for our Backpack Buddies program straight from our online giving page. Or you can donate by cash or check in person. Food donations must be non-perishable, such as: small boxes of cereal, mac & cheese, instant oatmeal, breakfast bars, ramen noodles, fruit cups, pop-top cans of spaghettios/raviolis, applesauce cups, pudding/Jell-O, dried fruit, microwave popcorn bags, cheese & crackers/peanut butter crackers, Rice Krispies bars, animal crackers/graham crackers, etc.
The next day we are handing out meals from our parking lot is June 24th 2:30-4:30pm for all children under the age of 18. If families are not able to come in that time frame, they can call the church at 906-341-5427, during our normal business hours Monday-Thursday 9-12:00pm to schedule a time to pick up.
Recent Community Donations
The Manistique Elks Club received a grant for $2,000 to support the Backpack Buddies program. Jim Gaffney, president of the Elks, presented the check on Friday 7/10/2020