CHI St. Joseph’s Health Systems donated $1,000 on July 24 to the Gerry’s Backpack Kids program.

Now entering its second year, the program provides backpacks of kid-friendly food to help Menahga School students during weekends and holidays.

The program was conceived by community members Annamae Holzworth and Gerry Kyllonen-Eisele, with help from Donna Anderson. It was just taking off when Kyllonen-Eisele died, so the group agreed to call it Gerry’s Backpack Kids in honor of her passion for helping children.

Funding is also provided by West Central Telephone Association, Community First Bank and the North Country Food Bank red nose fund. Greenwood Connections adult daycare, led by Vonnie Stewart, will be stuffing backpacks again this year.

Anyone can support the program by sending a donation to Gerry’s Backpack Kids, 600 Pleasant Ave., Park Rapids, MN 56470.