Hundreds receive free school supplies at backpack drive in Lancaster


LANCASTER, Pa. (WHTM) — The start of the school year is right around the corner, And with a year of mostly virtual school, many students need to stock up on supplies.

Hundreds took advantage of a free giveaway Saturday afternoon in Lancaster.

It was the 10th annual backpack giveaway organized by state Rep. Mike Sturla at Clipper Magazine Stadium.

A line of cars around the block showed the need in Lancaster for school supplies.

“It really is a collaborative effort, a lot of volunteers, a lot of people in the community that donated, some foundations and things like that and corporate sponsors,” Sturla said.

Volunteers organized everything from breakfast to binders without parents worrying about how much it all costs.

“You try and buy a backpack, a uniform, sneakers, books, school supplies, all that kind of stuff for four kids, the bill gets pretty high pretty quickly and so this is really a great way to make sure every kid gets a great start in school this year,” Sturla said.

800 of the 1,400 students registered showed up for the drive-through event.

Sturla also partnered with Patients R Waiting, providing first and second doses of the COVID vaccine inside Clipper Magazine Stadium for adults and children 12 and older.

“Almost overwhelmingly, people have said ‘I already got my shot,’ which is great, but we just want to make sure there is no excuse whatsoever as to why somebody shouldn’t be getting their vaccines,” Sturla said.

Eduardo Torres received his second dose, wanting to protect those around him, including two older people in his church.

“One of them got a transplant, lung transplant and we care about them. We don’t want to get sick and then go close to them and then feel guilty,” Torres said.

Sturla says the vaccinations and the supplies go hand in hand, making sure everyone is happy and healthy for the fall.

If you haven’t already, you can still register online or on-site. The giveaway continues from noon to 3 p.m. on both Sunday and Monday.

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