CHUM and Duluth Public Schools are launching their annual backpack drive a little differently this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Instead of accepting supply donations, CHUM is asking the public to purchase backpacks and supplies online or make a monetary donation to cover the cost of school supplies for children in Duluth, according to a news release from CHUM.

In the past, the nonprofit has provided more than 10,000 backpacks overall to children who need them. This year, its goal is to purchase 1,400 backpacks full of supplies.

“We do this every year because we know how important it is for children to start the school year on the right foot,” said Scott Van Daele, CHUM’s director of distributive services. “For each child to come to school on the first day and have the same supplies as everyone else in the class, it means that they are starting at the same place as everyone else."

The cost of a backpack with supplies is about $12. Donations are needed by Aug. 9 and will be distributed Aug. 25 and 27 from 10 a.m. to noon at the CHUM food shelf, 102 W. Second St.

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To purchase supplies for a student, visit educationalproducts.com/donate and use the organization ID "CHU092." To make a monetary donation, visit chumduluth.org.