16 Pack a Backpack distribution details

The 16 Pack a Backpack drive returns to Michiana Saturday, August 2. The drive is going on at four locations throughout Michiana from 7-10 a.m.

WNDU-TV 54516 State Road 933 South Bend, IN
Goshen McDonald's 1706 Elkhart Rd.
Plymouth McDonald's 2010 N. Michigan St.
St. Joseph, MI McDonald's 2820 Niles Rd.

NewsCenter 16 is teaming up with McDonald’s, Notre Dame Federal Credit Union, Meijer, U-93, the Kelly Cares Foundation, the Saint Vincent De Paul Society and area agencies for the 16 Pack-A-Backpack school supply drive. For the past thirteen years, NewsCenter 16 and our volunteer organizations have distributed more than 41 thousand back to school kits to deserving children in grades K through 6 throughout the community.

The number of children affected by poverty is great. The Indiana Youth Institute reports nearly 500,000 children are eligible for free or reduced lunch in the Hoosier State. In Mishawaka, nearly 50% of the student body is eligible. One teacher shared the importance of children having what they need at the start of the school year.

"If everything starts with education, we need the right tools," said Roxy Artusi, a 5th grade teacher at Lasalle Elementary in Mishawaka.

"I actually spend a great deal of my own money on the basic school supplies because if the kids don't have them, it makes my job more difficult. It makes the learning process more difficult for them."

At least 16 organizations throughout Michiana have been confirmed as recipients for the 16 Pack a Backpack drive. Each organization and county has its own distribution method. For specific information, you are asked to contact the organizations, listed below.

St. Joseph County, IN

Kroc Fest August 16, 3-6 p.m.
Kroc Center, 900 West Western Avenue, South Bend
Children must be present to receive supplies
Supplies first come, first serve

Mishawaka Schools
Social Workers distribute supplies

Housing Authority of South Bend

Elkhart County, IN

Elkhart Community Schools
(574) 262-5943

Emerge Ministries
(574) 293-0776

Women's Shelter/Family Empowerment Program IFIT
(574) 295-6595 x111

Minority Health Coalition-Elkhart
(574) 522-0128

Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Elkhart County
(574) 875-1039

Starke County, IN

Starke County Youth Club/Knox Community Schools
(574) 772-1600 x1750

Marshall County, IN

Contact school systems directly
Plymouth, LaVille, Culver, Triton, Argos, Bremen and John Glenn

Fulton County, IN

United Fund Backpack Program
(574) 223-4052

Berrien County, MI

Hands Up Ministry
(269) 277-5018

Salvation Army Benton Harbor
(269) 927-0404

Emergency Shelter, Benton Harbor
(269) 925-1131 x13

Saint Gabriel Church Hispanic Ministry
Berrien Springs
(269) 471-0368

Salvation Army, Niles
(269) 684-2660

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