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      Marquette County schools give back in Canathon

      Elementary and middle school students are going above and beyond their homework load.

      Friday morning, members of the Steelworkers Union stopped by to collect canned food at Lakeview School in Negaunee and Aspen Ridge School in Ishpeming Township.

      "I think it's really important for kids to give back because they have kids in their classroom they don't know about that use these food kitchens," said Tricia Anderson, a parent volunteer.

      It's all part of the TV6 Canathon.

      The donations in Ishpeming Township are headed for Saint Vincent de Paul, while the food in Negaunee will go to the Salvation Army food bank.

      This food drive is an annual event here in Marquette County. But the flagging economy makes this year's haul especially meaningful.

      "We see between 60 and 70 families a month," said Stephen Hansen of the Salvation Army. "Many people that used to be donors are now coming to us looking for food."

      Along with helping the needy, these good Samaritans engaged in some good-spirited competition. The contributions from each class were weighed, and those with the heaviest hauls were rewarded with a pizza party.

      But the best award for these kids may be the experience of giving back at a young age.

      "A little help from them goes a long way," Anderson said.

      The event collected about 4,500 pounds of food.

      The Canathon is a U.P.-wide event with donations staying in the community where they were collected.