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      Group aims to pack over 5,600 meals for kids

      31 Backpacks is in need of volunteers for packing meals for 123 Copper Country students for winter break.

      The nonprofit group plans to pack enough food for the whole two week winter break for three meals a day, totaling to over 5,600 meals. They are always in need of volunteers to help pack meals and monetary donations so they can purchase food.

      The big pack for the break will be on December 19 at Glad Tidings Assembly of God in Hancock. 31 Backpacks founders say they want to provide meals for the students because they understand the difficult financial situation some families may face.

      "This really makes a huge difference in the kids' lives," said Melissa Maki of 31 Backpacks. "We've heard from all the school districts that it has been a real big change in their attitudes. They're not miserably hungry on Monday when they come into school. We're hoping it's affecting test scores as well."

      For more information about donating or volunteering with 31 Backpacks, email founders Laurel Maki at and Melissa Maki at

      Checks can be made out to:31 Backpacks, Inc.1100 Century Way, Suite CHoughton, MI 49931