CHUM is 800 Short in Yearly Backpack Program

Baihly Warfield
Updated: August 10, 2019 08:27 PM

DULUTH, Minn. - CHUM is 800 backpacks short of its goal for this year's backpack giveaway. 


Last year, the nonprofit gave away more than 1,200 backpacks filled with school supplies to kids who needed them. And there were still more who didn't get one. 

So this year, the goal was 1,400.

"It's a great thing because certain parents don't have that expendable income to go buy everything that schools require," Scott Van Daele with the CHUM Food Shelf said. "So when it comes down to ... you need shoes, you need food, you need milk, you need things like that, medication, or do I have to spend my money on backpacks? It's just a no-brainer." 

However, donations have been slow this summer. Right now, CHUM has around 600 backpacks. 

"Maybe it's because nobody wants to go back to school," Van Daele suggested.

But CHUM distributes the backpacks August 22, so they are getting the word out to try to make up the 800-backpack gap. 

"You think it's kind of stupid, but if they don't start off with pencils and pens and notebooks and gluesticks and things like that that are sort of mundane to most of us, then they're sort of that far behind from the get-go," Van Daele said. 

The deadline to purchase a pre-filled backpack online is Monday, Aug. 12. If you want to shop for a backpack and supplies yourself, they need to be dropped off at CHUM by Monday, Aug. 19. 

You can purchase a backpack online here or find instructions on how to buy your own here

If you buy one online, for K-5 students, backpacks are $11. For grades 6-12, they are $11.50. 

The distribution is Thursday, Aug. 22 from 12-4 p.m at:

  • Central Hillside Community Center (12 E 4th St.)
  • Morgan Park Community Center (1242 88th Ave. W)
  • Portman Community Center (4601 McCulloch St.)


Baihly Warfield

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