Backpack for Kids serving more students after Hurricane Michael

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JACKSON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - The Backpack for Kids program was started several years ago to help feed children in Jackson County.

"It helps them during the weekend when they don't get lunches at school," President Cheryl Miller said.

Volunteers usually pack bags for just under 200 children per week, but the program has become even more important since Hurricane Michael.

"We're up to 225 today and we hear our numbers are going to increase," volunteer Chris Smith said.

Friday's packing also included items for Thanksgiving.

"The bags go from 20 items to... today we have something like 50 items per bag," Smith said.

Various organizations, churches, and college students have donated to the program.

"That's been a big help too because all of that is going today in the bags for Thanksgiving," Miller said.

Once all the bags are packed, teachers and counselors will help make sure students get their bags.

Backpack for Kids organizers said they try to make sure the bags are discreet.

The program is in need of extra drawstring backpacks to send home with students.

Organizers said they're always in need of more volunteers, especially after Hurricane Michael.

If you'd like to help, check out the Jackson County Backpack for Kids Facebook page.