a compassionate people, seeking, serving, sharing, discovering the love of Jesus, together.

 Coloma United Methodist Church

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Want to participate?  Contact Pam Walker through this website.

The Backpack Project is totally funded by donations and proceeds from parking fees during the August Glad Peach Festival, held in 2016 on August 5, 6, 7.  Fellowship, cold water & shade were provided to the many volunteers who took the opportunity to serve during this event.  Thanks to  those volunteers and to all those who parked their cars, donating time and money to feed elementary children who use backpacks of food every weekend during the school year.  Thanks!  Thanks!  Thanks!   Good food grows strong minds and bodies for the future!

2016-2017 Backpacks Begin!

Monday, September 26, 2016, Helen Malloy packed the first five backpacks of the school year!  Those packs went to Countryside in Millburg.  Backpacks were taken to elementary schools in Watervliet beginning in October.  Again - Thanks to all who make this outreach ministry happen, through their gifts of service, prayer, and funding!  The children thank you, too!

​What is the need for food?  Give me details!

How many children will receive weekend meals for school year 2016-2017?  Donations given during the month of August and the first week of September will determine how many are served this year.  Donations gratefully received at the church office during regular business hours, or on Sunday mornings during the  service. If you mark your donation for Backpacks, our financial secretary will see it gets to the right place. Thank you.


Statistics say that three out of  five children in Berrien County go to bed hungry every night.  Children's brains fail to develop properly if they are not well nourished.  There are  programs that feed children lunch and sometimes  breakfast during the school year and school week.  The aim of the backpack project is to supply weekend backpacks of food to children whom the teachers and school counselor agree could use some extra food support on the weekends, too.

Last year's goal was to support 20 children in the Watervliet Elementary Schools.  As of fall 2014, we were able to support 28 children, relying on the grace of God and the community for further support of this important mission.  And backpacks are also going to children in an elementary school in Millburg. Volunteers have been kept busy food and packing backbacks!   Its quite the team effort to supply funding, shop, pack and deliver each week of the school year. Thanks to all who participate in this mission!  Young minds need nourishment to grow strong with the ability to learn well!

Contact the church office, Pam Walker or Barb Ramsey-Smith if you'd like to sponsor a child for the new school year.  Or just drop a donation marked for the Backpack Project into the collection plate!  The children, school staff, and backback volunteers thank you!

How are children selected to participate in this program?
Children are selected on the basis of need by the Watervliet elementary school counselor.  She alone has the names of the children. 

Starting small with a pledge to fill just 5 backpacks, we wanted to ensure that we could provide this service consistently for the children included in the project.  By January of 2013, due to the generosity of congregation and others, the project doubled.  Still small, but growing!  As of the 2014-2015 school year we were able to supply 28 food filled backpacks each week of the school year.

Who can participate in packing backpacks?  What age group?

Currently about 25 to 30 people are involved monthly in buying food, packing the backpacks,  picking up empty or delivering full backpacks to the counselor.  Others in the church and community offer donations important to support the effort.  Team ages varies from the Youth Group, the Venture Scout Crew, and teams of two or three adults. 

Whether giving by prayers, presence, gifts, or service, it is a church and community effort, that we hope brings the message that children are loved and important to us, in this community and in this church. 

We'd love to hear from you!  You may contact Barb Ramsey-Smith or Pam Walker for more information, by clicking on Contact Us, to leave your message  with contact phone number or email address.