Backpacks, school supplies and groceries will be handed out a free, outdoors distribution event Saturday, July 16, in Boyle Heights.

Saturday’s event will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the USC Health Sciences Campus, on Parking Lot 1701, near the corner of Zonal and State St. A total of 3,000 free backpacks full of school supplies will be available for LA County students three-years-old and older, from kindergarten through college. In addition, 500 bags of groceries will also be available for local families.

This event is part of a five-week effort by L.A. Care, Los Angeles County’s public health care plan, and Blue Shield of California Promise, a non profit insurer. This is the third year in a row that the two health plans have collaborated to help gear students up for school.

The two health plans jointly operate several Community Resource Centers throughout the county (including one in Koreatown), and information about classes, programs and services available at the CRCs will be available at Saturday’s event.

“With more families feeling the pinch of inflation everywhere from the supermarket to the gas station, we are glad to alleviate some of the costs associated with gearing up for a new school year,” said L.A. Care CEO John Baackes in a press release. “Families should be focused on school readiness, and not on what supplies they can skimp on to make ends meet.”

All giveaway events are being held outdoors, and staff will follow recommended COVID-19 safety guidelines.The two organizations say they will distribute up to 33,000 free backpacks with supplies this summer.

Saturday’s event is one of 11 scheduled in July and August and one of six in which free tote bags filled with groceries will be handed out.

This post was edited on July 15 to correctly identify Blue Shield of California Promise.





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