Berrien Community Foundation Hosts Backpacks For Good

The Berrien Community Foundation (BCF) is helping students get ready to learn this fall by providing over 1,600 backpacks filled with school supplies for students attending Coloma, Watervliet, Niles and Brandywine Schools. BCF will host three backpack and school supply give away events month.

The events are:

Niles Community Schools Students: August 11, 5 -7 p.m. at Niles High School Parking Lot.

Coloma High School: August 18, 4 - 6 p.m. at Coloma High School Parking Lot 

Brandywine Community Schools Students: August 20, 5 – 7 p.m. at Brandywine High School Parking Lot.

In addition to the backpacks and school supplies there will be a mobile food pantry at each event. Families will be able to drive up and select a backpack and be provided with food from the food pantry.

“We know that, in one way or another, kids are going to be returning to school and need to be ready to learn,” said Berrien Community Foundation President Lisa Cripps-Downey. “Whether it is in person or at home, they need the supplies to be successful and to stay organized.”

The Feeding America Mobile Food Pantry will also be on site to help families.

“Some families are really struggling right now,” said Berrien Community Foundation Program Manager Susan Matheny. “The food pantry is a great way to re-stock on fresh produce and other supplies and get ready to head back to school.”

Community volunteers, especially students, have been instrumental in preparing for each of the events. 

Volunteers have worked to prepare for the event and pack the backpacks while maintaining social distancing. Students from Niles, Coloma and Watervliet are spending volunteer hours preparing supplies, and packing backpacks and will be on hand to help distribute the backpacks.

The Niles/Brandywine backpack events are in partnership with the Frederick S. Upton Foundation. The Coloma/Watervliet event is in partnership with the De Groot Family Foundation.