Thousands of kids receive backpacks and supplies before school starts

Lane County kids got free school supplies today before school starts next week. Photo by Audrey Weil.

EUGENE, Ore. -- More than 2,000 kids received backpacks and school supplies Wednesday from St. Vincent de Paul.

The annual drive is for low-income families on public assistance.

Organizers say as school budgets dwindle, kids are expected to bring more of their own supplies, like paper, pencils and Kleenex.

And many families can't afford it.

"None of those are things that you can buy with food stamps so if you're struggling to just make ends meet each month, adding $100 or $200 in expenses per child can be really significant," said Ashely Hensley, St. Vincent de Paul Community Engagement Coordinator.

St. Vincent de Paul sites are taking school supply donations through Labor Day weekend.

Organizers say what they still really need are heavy-duty backpacks for the older kids.

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