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Though it looked different than in years past, not even the COVID-19 pandemic could stop the School District of Philadelphia’s annual free backpack giveaway.
This year, the giveaway took place in drive-thru form at a parking lot of Eagles home stadium Lincoln Financial Field, drawing scores of vehicles as some people waited for hours to get their backpacks filled with school supplies.
The fall semester for public school students starts Sept. 2, and though classes will be virtual, the long lines at Friday’s backpack giveaway showed that there is a lot of need in the community, school district spokeswoman Monica Lewis said.
“I don’t know if we expected the traffic to be this much, but I think it shows that there’s a great need for people to get the resources that they would like their children to have,” she said.
Each student in a car received one backpack, while adults who showed up alone got a maximum of two. In all, the district gave away some 7,000 backpacks, as well as some pairs of Converse sneakers, Lewis said.
“Anything that supports education is a good thing. I don’t care what it is – if you have to wait, supporting your children and taking care of your kids is always important, so don’t look at it as a time thing; you’re investing in education,” one father told NBC10.
The school district will host another, walk-up, giveaway Monday, Aug. 31, for those who weren’t able to participate in Friday’s drive-thru giveaway.
The walk-up giveaway will be by appointment only at two ShopRite locations, and people will have to bring an ID with them. You can schedule your appointment here.