Local Students to Receive Free Backpacks and School Supplies
Supporting students’ return to school this fall, Inland Empire Plan (IEHP) and community partner, Young Visionaries, will host two “Pull Up and Pick Up” events, providing backpacks and essential school supplies to children and families who have RSVP’d online. The events will take place at IEHP’s Community Resource Center (CRC) in Victorville on Friday, August 7, and at the plan’s CRC in Riverside on Friday, August 21.
While most students in Riverside and San Bernardino counties will begin school virtually this year, child psychiatrist Dr. Gayani DeSilva, IEHP’s behavioral health director, stresses the importance of normalcy that a backpack provides. “Having a backpack, especially during these uncertain times, gives children a sense of regularity,” Dr. DeSilva said. “It’s a familiar place to hold their unique story and to give importance to this new year of learning and development.”
With one in five American children living in poverty, IEHP recognizes the need to help in other ways. In addition to backpacks and school supplies, items such as food, housewares, shoes, and hygiene products will also be offered at these events.
“Within two hours of Victorville’s registration opening, we reached capacity at 850 RSVP’s,” said Delia Orosco, Manager of IEHP’s CRC in Victorville. “We expect to have the same turnout for our upcoming Riverside event, knowing the need for these resources is only increasing.”
Further addressing food insecurity in the community, IEHP has also continued to organize food and dairy distributions through their resource centers and supports local food banks and pantries with distribution efforts. To learn more about these events, visit IEHP on Facebook and check out the Riverside, San Bernardino and Victorville CRC Facebook pages.
“This is an incredibly tough time for everyone,” said Orosco. “With so many out of work as we continue to fight the spread of COVID-19, we want to do all we can to help families keep food on the table and provide supplies for the upcoming school year. By collaborating with our partners and continuing to stay resilient, we can do just that.”