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      Kamping out because they KAIR

      "Despite the weather, we're thinking of this as a Summertime campout," said Mike Kent, with Kampout for KAIR.

      Summer, and even Spring weather may seem far away, but no matter what Mother Nature throws at them, these folks are giving all they've got to those who don't have a lot.

      Campfires, hot dogs, hot cocoa, s'mores... along with boyscouts, they're all camping out in Kalkaska because they care...

      "We want to fill up a truck full of non-perishable food and make sure that needy families in Kalkaska County have the food they need to feed their families," said Kent.

      Kampout for KAIR, which stands for the "Kalkaska Area Interfaith Resource Council" provides emergency protection against electric and utility shut off, but also, a very simply need.

      "The need to eat is daily," said Don Bowman, Co-Director of KAIR. "We had folks come in today that didn't have any food and they had just been there the week before."

      With trucks, tents and RVs set up, these new friends are staying out as Glens Market and Northland Foods in Kalkaska stay open for the entire 24 hours of the KAIR campaign. Last year alone, KAIR served over 10,000 lbs. of food every month. That's 120,000 lbs. And this year organizers say the need is up by 25%.

      "We were running one visit per family per month last year," said Bowman. "We are right now running one visit every three weeks, and next month we're going to one visit every two weeks."

      Parked outside Bill Marsh, Kalkaska, these frozen folks hope to collect as many non-perishable food and personal hygiene items until those trucks overflow.

      "We appreciate the community getting fired up about this in the middle of April... With snow on the ground and moisture in the air," said Bowman.

      So if you've got a little insomnia...

      "Go out, do some shopping! We're going to have people here ready to take food donations," said Kent.

      I f you'd like to donate non-perishables and hygiene products to this year's Kampout for KAIR, it will be going on until 5 p.m. Saturday, April 13, 2013.

      T he items KAIR needs the most include cereal, peanut butter, fruit, macaroni & cheese, powdered or canned milk, tuna and other canned meats.