Backpack Program

Betty Collins and Jackie Ouelette welcomed community members to the 2019 Backpack fundraiser .

Though many things have changed in everyday life during COVID-19, something that has not changed is the work of those involved in the Salvation Army Backpack Program. Though the fundraiser is very different this year, area children need the generosity of local community members more than ever.

Due to COVID-19, the in-person Annual Backpack Fundraiser was cancelled. Donations are still needed to help kids have food in their cupboards. A goal has been set of $30,000 by September 4.

There are two ways you can give: Text “BACKPACK” to 24365 to give online, or mail a donation to

The Salvation Army

PO Box 129

Clear Lake, WI. 54001

A strong community event making a difference in the lives of local children annually, Committee member Betty Collins said, “The fundraiser started when a group of local ministers were talking about ways to reach out to the community. Balsam Lutheran’s minister, Pastor Matt Saarem came up with the idea of supporting the backpack program.”

She said a committee was formed and they reached out to local churches. “Still today I have that same committee. Little Falls members make the barbecues and run the kitchen. Deronda Lutheran and Trinity Church run the bake sale, Balsam Lutheran helps run the silent action and raffles and Mary Peterson makes the delicious beans. Wapo Bible Camp donates the brownies and Congregational Church youth run the dunk tank. The Cat Tail moon band donates their talent and time to entertain with their music and the Amery Fire Department donates the hall and helps with set up and clean up.” This truly makes it totally a community event.

Angela Moulton from the Salvation Army said last year the Backpack Program helped around 300 families each week in Polk County.

“Each bag costs approximately $7 a piece and contains a dinner, breakfast, snack, fruit and vegetable. With awesome fundraising we have been able to do two coupons a month for a gallon of milk. Hoping we can continue at that level,” said Moulton.

She said, “I just saw a stat that 1 in 7 children in the state of Wisconsin experience hunger. It is our goal to help children so they never have to wonder what they will have to eat.”

Moulton said through COVID-19 they continued providing backpacks. She said, “Our amazing volunteers and the schools worked to still send bags home with lunch pickup. We continued longer into the year. In Amery we actually provided through August 10th. We just wanted to help however we could.”

Moulton said, “We are about half way to our fundraising goal of $30,000 by September 4. We really have a long way to go but we are super thankful for the donations that have come in.”

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