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First 5 California & SupplyBank.Org Launch Innovative Diaper Kit Pilot Program to Aid Local Families

[July 19, 2018] Sacramento, California – Hundreds of parents at River Oak Center for Children were the first of more than 2,000 families in Northern California to receive a helping hand thanks to a coalition of public and private organizations coordinated by the nonprofit SupplyBank.Org. To address both the issue of “diaper need” and the early learning gap for young children from low-income families, First 5 California and SupplyBank.Org have joined forces to launch a pilot Diaper Kit Program, which provides families with children ages 0-3 with monthly kits containing 100 diapers and 200 baby wipes. The kits are designed with colorful messaging from the award-winning Talk. Read. Sing.® campaign, to convey the importance of talking, reading and singing to babies daily to promote early brain development. In attendance at today’s kickoff were First 5 California Chief Deputy Director and Counsel Frank Furtek, First 5 Sacramento County Executive Director Julie Gallelo, River Oak Center for Children Chief Executive Officer Laurie Clothier, SupplyBank.Org Founder and Executive Director Benito Delgado-Olson, the offices of Assemblymembers Kevin McCarty, Jim Cooper and Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher and several other agency representatives.

Costing up to $100/month, diapers are often the highest unaddressed cost burden for low-income families, accounting for up to 14% of a household budget. In addition to diaper need, the program seeks to combat the kindergarten readiness gap faced by young children from low-income families as compared to their affluent peers, by using the kits to disseminate messaging from First 5 California’s Talk. Read. Sing. campaign. “Diaper need is a serious problem in California and across the nation, but this issue provides the opportunity for an innovative solution,” said First 5 California Commission Chair George Halvorson. “The delivery of this valuable resource also helps raise the awareness of talking, reading, singing, and even counting to babies, which helps stimulate brain development, improve health, and close the readiness gap. This partnership is a key investment in early childhood wellness and education.”

Diaper need also creates a barrier to families accessing childcare, as parents are required to provide a day or week’s supply of diapers upon dropping their child off at daycare. For families living on the margins of economic stability, an issue as simple as diaper need can snowball into inescapable poverty. Parents often call in sick if they do not have access to childcare due to a lack of diapers, which can eventually lead to termination or an inability to obtain employment at all.

Diaper need furthermore results in severe medical conditions including diaper dermatitis, urinary tract infections, candidiasis and others. The numbers are staggering, with more than 41,000 hospital visits statewide in 2016, 80% of which were to the ER, costing at least $49 million. In Sacramento County, there were more than 1,800 hospital visits.

Today’s diaper distribution event was one of dozens happening on a monthly basis throughout a six-county pilot region, which includes Solano, Contra Costa, Alameda, Santa Clara, Sacramento and San Joaquin counties. Through the program, eligible clients of partnering Women, Infants & Children (WIC) clinics and First 5 family resource centers can pick up diaper kits where they regularly receive other services. This integrated service delivery approach means families do not have to wait in line to receive aid.

The Diaper Kit Program is one of several programs that SupplyBank.Org administers to address the unmet material needs of low-income children and families. “We’re excited to be launching this scalable model to address diaper need here in Sacramento,” said Benito Delgado-Olson, Founder and Executive Director of SupplyBank.Org. “We are grateful for the partnership and leadership of First 5 California and all other contributors for joining with us to solve this serious issue with careful thought and consideration.” The program provides diapers and wipes for about one-third of the in store cost. “With 1 in 3 mothers in the United States experiencing diaper need, program scalability is crucial,” he said.

Contributors to and collaborators in this six-county effort include First 5 California, SupplyBank.Org, Alameda County, Santa Clara County, First 5 Alameda County, Kaiser Permanente, Sunlight Giving, the Brin Wojcicki Foundation and the Thomas J. Long Foundation. Anyone interested in learning more or supporting this work is encouraged to contact SupplyBank.Org.

First 5 California, Alameda County & SupplyBank.Org Launch Innovative Diaper Kit Pilot Program to Aid Local Families

[July 17, 2018] Oakland, California – Hundreds of parents at Eastmont Mall WIC Office were the first of more than 2,000 families in Northern California to receive a helping hand thanks to a coalition of public and private organizations coordinated by the nonprofit SupplyBank.Org. To address both the issue of “diaper need” and the early learning gap for young children from low-income families, First 5 California, Alameda County and SupplyBank.Org have joined forces to launch a pilot Diaper Kit Program, which provides families with children ages 0-3 with monthly kits containing 100 diapers and 200 baby wipes. The kits are designed with colorful messaging from the award-winning Talk. Read. Sing.® campaign, to convey the importance of talking, reading and singing to babies daily to promote early brain development. In attendance at today’s kickoff were First 5 California Commission Chairman George Halvorson and Chief Deputy Director and Counsel Frank Furtek, SupplyBank.Org Founder and Executive Director Benito Delgado-Olson, the offices of Congresswoman Barbara Lee, State Assemblymember Rob Bonta, Alameda County Board of Supervisors President Wilma Chan and several other agency representatives.

Costing up to $100/month, diapers are often the highest unaddressed cost burden for low-income families, accounting for up to 14% of a household budget. In addition to diaper need, the program seeks to combat the kindergarten readiness gap faced by young children from low-income families as compared to their affluent peers, by using the kits to disseminate messaging from First 5 California’s Talk. Read. Sing. campaign. “Diaper need is a serious problem in California and across the nation, but this issue provides the opportunity for an innovative solution,” said First 5 California Commission Chair George Halvorson. “The delivery of this valuable resource also helps raise the awareness of talking, reading, singing, and even counting to babies, which helps stimulate brain development, improve health, and close the readiness gap. This partnership is a key investment in early childhood wellness and education.”

Diaper need also creates a barrier to families accessing childcare, as parents are required to provide a day or week’s supply of diapers upon dropping their child off at daycare. For families living on the margins of economic stability, an issue as simple as diaper need can snowball into inescapable poverty. “In 15 neighborhoods in the County, more than one-half of children are living in poverty; in another 36 neighborhoods, more than one-third of children are,” said Alameda County Board of Supervisors President Wilma Chan. “The Diaper Kit Program closely aligns with several of the goals of ALL IN Alameda County, our new war on poverty, by ensuring babies are healthy and parents have access to childcare and thus employment.” Parents often call in sick if they do not have access to childcare due to a lack of diapers, which can eventually lead to termination or an inability to obtain employment at all.

Diaper need also results in severe medical conditions including diaper dermatitis, urinary tract infections, candidiasis and others. The numbers are staggering, with more than 41,000 hospital visits statewide in 2016, 80% of which were to the ER, costing at least $49 million. In Alameda County, there were more than 1,000 hospital visits.

Today’s diaper distribution event was one of dozens happening on a monthly basis throughout a six-county pilot region, which includes Solano, Contra Costa, Alameda, Santa Clara, Sacramento and San Joaquin counties. Through the program, eligible clients of partnering Women, Infants & Children (WIC) clinics and First 5 family resource centers can pick up diaper kits where they regularly receive other services. “Structural realities have created gross inequities across zip codes resulting in life expectancy differentials among neighborhoods of up to 13 years, “ says First 5 Alameda County C.E.O. Kristin Spanos. “We envision communities in which families can get what they need, when they need it, so that all children thrive. Diapers and other basic necessities are essential part of that vision.” This integrated service delivery approach means families do not have to wait in line to receive aid.

The Diaper Kit Program is one of several programs that SupplyBank.Org administers to address the unmet material needs of low-income children and families. “We’re excited to be launching this scalable model to address diaper need here in Alameda County, where our organization has its roots,” said Benito Delgado-Olson, Founder and Executive Director of SupplyBank.Org. “We are grateful for the partnership and leadership of First 5 California, Alameda County and all other contributors for joining with us to solve this serious issue with careful thought and consideration.” The program provides diapers and wipes for about one-third of the in store cost. “With 1 in 3 mothers in the United States experiencing diaper need, program scalability is crucial,” he said.

Contributors to and collaborators in this six-county effort include First 5 California, SupplyBank.Org, Alameda County, Santa Clara County, First 5 Alameda County, Kaiser Permanente, Sunlight Giving, the Brin Wojcicki Foundation and the Thomas J. Long Foundation. Anyone interested in learning more or supporting this work is encouraged to contact SupplyBank.Org.

K to College Back to School Reception Benefits Local Students

[June 28, 2018] Oakland, California - Local civic, education, business and nonprofit leaders gathered at Beneficial State Bank on Thursday for SupplyBank.Org's K to College Back to School Reception to benefit our local school supply programs in Oakland, Berkeley and throughout the East Bay. Featured speakers included Alameda County Board of Supervisors President Wilma Chan, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, Oakland Unified School District Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell, Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin and Peralta Community College District Chancellor Jowel Laguerre.

Executive Director Benito Delgado-Olson also gave an update on the exciting path ahead for SupplyBank.Org, including the launch of a new Diaper Kit Assistance Program in partnership with First 5 California and the Green Access Pledge (GAP) program, which provides refurbished laptops to community college students.

SupplyBank.Org is grateful for all of the wonderful speakers and attendees, and our event sponsors including Kaiser Permanente, Comcast, Give Something Back Workplace Solutions, California Teachers Association, Masons of California, Berkeley Lions Club, Waste Management, Wells Fargo, and our host, Beneficial State Bank.

Green Access Pledge (GAP) Program Kickoff Event at Laney College

[June 14, 2018] Oakland, California - The Green Access Pledge (GAP) program kicked off this spring with a donation of 35 refurbished laptops to CalWORKs students enrolled in summer courses at Laney College. Partners in this effort include Merit Partners and StopWaste.org.

Employers can donate retired laptops or "e-waste" to be refurbished and redistributed to support community college students through this program by filling out this form.

Partnership with Huawei Technologies and City of San Pablo Provides Supplies to 400+ Students

[January 18, 2018] San Pablo, California - More than 400 excited Lake Elementary School students received school supply kits valued at $65 each on Thursday thanks to a partnership with Huawei Technologies and the City of San Pablo. The event kicked off with a brief assembly in the school cafeteria, followed by a distribution of totes containing pens, pencils, art supplies and more. The offices of Congressman Mark DeSaulnier and Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia pitched in to distribute kits to each student. Also in attendance were Lake Elementary School Principal Wendy Gonzalez, Huawei Technologies Senior Director of Government & Community Affairs Alison Jenkin, and SupplyBank.Org Executive Director Benito Delgado-Olson and staff.

About Huawei: Huawei is a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider with the vision to enrich life through communication. Driven by customer-centric innovation and open partnerships, Huawei has established an end-to-end ICT solutions portfolio that gives our customers competitive advantages in telecom and enterprise networks, devices and cloud computing. Huawei’s 150,000 employees worldwide are committed to creating maximum value for telecom operators, enterprises and consumers. Our innovative ICT solutions, products and services have been deployed in over 170 countries and regions, serving more than one third of the world’s population. Founded in 1987, Huawei is a private company fully owned by its employees.

For more information, visit Huawei online: http://www.huawei.com/us/; or follow us on:

Twitter: @HuaweiUSA

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/HuaweiPress

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/Huawei

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Huawei

SupplyBank.Org Kickoff Luncheon

[November 17, 2017] Berkeley, California - The SupplyBank.Org Kickoff Luncheon was a celebration of partners in our local programs as well as early supporters of our campaign to build a modern 70,000 square foot distribution center here in the East Bay.

Distinguished guests in attendance included Congresswoman Barbara Lee, Former Congressman George Miller, State Assembly Speaker Emeritus John A. Pérez, State Treasurer John Chiang, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson, Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty, Contra Costa County Supervisors John Gioia and Karen Mitchoff, Solano County Supervisors Erin Hannigan and John Vasquez, San Francisco County Supervisor Mark Farrell, leadership from First 5 Association of California, Kaiser Permanente and Huawei Technologies, several local and national foundation executives, and several other local and state public officials.

Huawei Technologies Partners with K to College Program to Distribute More Than $17,000 of School Supplies to Kettleman City Students

[October 24, 2017] Kettleman City, California - More than 275 students in Reef-Sunset Unified School District received a helping hand today thanks to Huawei Technologies, which has been partnering with the nonprofit organization SupplyBank.Org’s “K to College” program for the past six years to provide students with critical supplies like pencils, paper and art materials to help them succeed in the classroom. Each student received a school supply kit and dental kit valued at $65. In attendance were Kristi Castillo, Principal of Kettleman City Elementary, Alison Jenkin, Senior Director of Government & Community Affairs at Huawei Technologies and Benito Delgado-Olson, Executive Director of SupplyBank.Org.

Also attending today’s event were hundreds of happy kids, several Huawei Technologies volunteers, local public officials, and Kings County Office of Education leaders.

Supporting this effort early on, Huawei Technologies has been a key partner in efforts to address the unmet material needs of low-income children. “We believe that children of all backgrounds deserve the chance to succeed,” said Alison Jenkin, Huawei’s Senior Director of Government & Public Affairs. “Huawei is committed to giving back to the community and investing in our future workforce.” Through their partnership with SupplyBank.Org during the last 6 years, Huawei Technologies has provided school supplies and dental kits to tens of thousands of children in need. This partnership continues to catalyze SupplyBank.Org’s expansion to rural communities like Kettleman City throughout the state.

The level of need in the region is profound – 68% of students in Kings County are enrolled in a subsidized meal program, which has poverty as the main criterion to qualify. At Kettleman City Elementary, 93% of students are enrolled in a subsidized meal program. When families cannot afford the significant cost of school supplies, students fall behind in the classroom. Teachers are forced to pay for supplies out-of-pocket – studies show that the average California teacher spends upwards of $1,000 per year on supplies for his or her students.

A statewide organization following the business model of food banks, SupplyBank.Org says this partnership is an example of how its “supply bank” model can solve the unmet basic material needs of low-income people. “This program is an excellent example of how government, the non-profit and for-profit sectors can collaborate to solve social problems,” said Benito Delgado-Olson, Executive Director and Founder of SupplyBank.Org. “It also aligns with our principle of addressing basic needs through institutions and programs that provide pathways to self-sufficiency.” SupplyBank.Org integrates its programs into the services provided by more than 450 partnering agencies across the state, including school districts in every county.

SupplyBank.Org and their partners also stress the need for early planning to competitively source products, build a broad donor base and solicit in-kind contributions. Anyone interested in supporting the K to College program is encouraged to contact SupplyBank.Org.

About SupplyBank.Org: SupplyBank.Org (formerly K to College), was founded in 2008 by Benito Delgado-Olson and several of his UC Berkeley colleagues and alumni as a nonprofit public benefit corporation that models the approach of food banks to address unmet material needs. By leveraging public and private partnerships and economies of scale, SupplyBank.Org can produce up to a $5 benefit for every $1 invested. The organization’s mission is to efficiently address the unmet material needs of homeless and low-income children, youth and adults working towards self-sufficiency. In the past 5 years, SupplyBank.Org has donated more than $25 million worth of materials to more than 500,000 children and families across California. For more information, visit www.supplybank.org.

About Huawei: Huawei is a leading global information and communications technology (ICT) solutions provider with the vision to enrich life through communication. Driven by customer-centric innovation and open partnerships, Huawei has established an end-to-end ICT solutions portfolio that gives our customers competitive advantages in telecom and enterprise networks, devices and cloud computing. Huawei’s 150,000 employees worldwide are committed to creating maximum value for telecom operators, enterprises and consumers. Our innovative ICT solutions, products and services have been deployed in over 170 countries and regions, serving more than one third of the world’s population. Founded in 1987, Huawei is a private company fully owned by its employees.

For more information, visit Huawei online: http://www.huawei.com/us/; or follow us on:

Twitter: @HuaweiUSA

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/HuaweiPress

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/company/Huawei

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Huawei

Bright Future for Oakland Students: 10,000 Backpacks Donated for First Day of School & First Total Solar Eclipse Since 1979

[August 21, 2017] Oakland, California - Kicking off the school year with bright smiles and special sunglasses, Mayor Libby Schaaf, Oakland Unified School District Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell, Kaiser Permanente Chairman and CEO Bernard J. Tyson and several other local leaders collaborated with the nonprofit organization SupplyBank.Org (formerly K to College) to distribute new backpacks and school supply kits to 500 kids at Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary. Witnessing the natural phenomenon of the first total solar eclipse visible in the U.S. since 1979, students sported solar eclipse glasses also donated by SupplyBank.Org for a memorable science lesson.

This event was the formal kickoff for a citywide distribution of school supplies to 10,000 low-income OUSD students. Led by SupplyBank.Org, this partnership also includes the Oakland Unified School District, the City of Oakland, Kaiser Permanente, Give Something Back Office Supplies, several other businesses, the Lend A Hand Foundation and the Oakland Public Education Fund.

Supporting this effort from its inception, Kaiser Permanente has been a key partner in efforts to address the unmet material needs of low-income children. “Helping our communities thrive is fundamental to what Kaiser Permanente stands for,” said Chairman and CEO Bernard J. Tyson. “It’s important we partner with community organizations to understand and meet the basic needs of families in our communities. No child should have to go without quality school supplies that help jump-start the year, and I am proud Kaiser Permanente is part of this worthy effort.” “The start of school is always exciting for students. But learning can be significantly more challenging for young people who don’t have the necessary supplies. This giveaway of backpacks and school supplies will go a long way toward making sure our students are ready to succeed in the classroom. We thank SupplyBank.org, Kaiser Permanente, the Lend a Hand Foundation, the Oakland Ed Fund, the City of Oakland and all other donors who are helping to ensure the 2017-18 school year is great for all OUSD students.”

While this effort is modeled after similar programs in San Francisco and Berkeley, the need in Oakland much more profound – 74% of OUSD students are enrolled in a subsidized meal program, which has poverty as the main criterion to qualify. At Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary, 94% of students are enrolled in a subsidized meal program.

This year’s collaboration is particularly special – for the first time in recent memory, both the Superintendent and Mayor are Oakland natives. “By joining forces with the school district, the business community, SupplyBank.Org and other community organizations, we are ensuring that every student has the tools they need to be successful,” said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, who is also a proud alumna of Oakland public schools. “These types of partnerships are one of the many examples of Oakland’s diverse communities prioritizing our City’s youth and future." A statewide organization following the business model of food banks, SupplyBank.Org says this partnership is an example of how its “supply bank” model can solve the unmet basic material needs of low-income people. “This program is an excellent example of how government, the non-profit and for-profit sectors can collaborate to solve social problems,” said Benito Delgado-Olson, Executive Director and Founder of SupplyBank.Org. “It also aligns with our principle of addressing basic needs through institutions and programs that provide pathways to self-sufficiency.” SupplyBank.Org integrates its programs into the services provided by more than 350 partnering agencies across the state, including school districts in every county.

SupplyBank.Org and their partners also stress the need for early planning to competitively source products, build a broad donor base and solicit in-kind contributions. This year’s partnership in Oakland will provide more than 10,000 students throughout the City with backpacks and school supplies worth more than $300,000.

Also attending today’s event were hundreds of happy kids, several local public officials, and representatives of the Lend A Hand Foundation and the Oakland Public Education Fund. Contributors to this effort included Kaiser Permanente, Give Something Back Office Supplies, the Oakland Unified School District, SupplyBank.Org, the Lend A Hand Foundation and the Oakland Public Education Fund. Anyone interested in supporting the program is encouraged to contact SupplyBank.Org.

About Kaiser Permanente: Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. Learn about our history, how our approach to health care started, and how it continues to this day at www.kaiserpermanente.org.

About SupplyBank.Org: SupplyBank.Org (formerly K to College), was founded in 2008 by Benito Delgado-Olson and several of his UC Berkeley colleagues and alumni as a nonprofit public benefit corporation that models the approach of food banks to address unmet material needs. By leveraging public and private partnerships and economies of scale, SupplyBank.Org can produce up to a three dollar benefit for every dollar invested. The organization’s mission is to efficiently address the unmet material needs of homeless and low-income children, youth and adults working towards self-sufficiency. In the past 5 years, SupplyBank.Org has donated more than $25 million worth of materials to more than 500,000 children and families across California. For more information, visit www.supplybank.org.

About Give Something Back Office Supplies: Give Something Back Office Supplies is California’s largest independent office supply company. Over the past 24 years, Give Something Back has donated over $6 million dollars in profits back to amazing nonprofits across the Western region while offering competitive prices and superior service. For more information, visit www.givesomethingback.com.

About Lend A Hand Foundation: Founded in 1997, LAHF represents the commitment of its founders and the Board of Directors to improve the life of children, youth and their families. LAHF has served the community for 19 years and even though charitable giving is sometimes considerably low, LAHF continues to strive to make sure it reaches as many youth as possible by lending a hand. The Foundation has provided over 58,000 backpacks and supplies through its Annual Back to School Giveaway program (August) and through its Annual Holiday Celebration (December) and other services which has touched the lives of over 5,000 youth and their families on a yearly basis. For more information, visit www.lendahandfoundation.org.

About Oakland Public Education Fund: The Oakland Public Education Fund (the Ed Fund) is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit founded in 2003 by a group of Oakland principals and community leaders. The Ed Fund’s mission is to lead the development and investment of community resources in Oakland public schools so that all students can learn, grow, and thrive. The Ed Fund has helped schools raise more than $25 million for essential programs since 2003, supporting schools and OUSD to build new partnerships along the way. Through our communications work, we’ve consistently championed Oakland schools to shift the narrative about public education in Oakland. For more information, visit www.oaklandedfund.org.

About Oakland Unified School District: The mission of Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) is to build a Full Service Community District focused on high academic achievement while serving the whole child, eliminating inequity, and providing each child with excellent teachers, every day. OUSD’s vision is that all students will find joy in their academic experience while graduating with the skills to ensure they are caring, competent, fully-informed, critical thinkers who are prepared for college, career, and community success. With approximately 48,000 public school students, 37,000 in district-run public schools and 11,000 in charter schools, OUSD is the 12th largest district in the State of California. With a half billion dollar budget and over 4,700 employees, making it the second largest employer in the City of Oakland, OUSD is also a major economic driver, while fulfilling its educational mission with some of the most ambitious, innovative, and award-winning educational programming of any public school district in the country. For more information, visit www.ousd.org.

Mayor Lee, Community Partners Deliver Backpacks and School Supplies to Local Youth

[August 17, 2017] San Francisco, California - Mayor Edwin M. Lee today joined community members to hand out backpacks and school supplies to children living in the Sunnydale community as part of the Mayor’s annual Backpack Giveaway program. During the course of the summer, 5,500 backpacks will be distributed to youth throughout San Francisco.

For the past 11 years, the Mayor’s Office of Neighborhood Services has partnered with various City agencies, community based organizations and local businesses to distribute backpacks to local students. Each backpack comes equipped with school supplies and information on local resources that will help prepare students for the school year.

“Our Backpack Giveaway allows our children to focus on what really matters—their studies,” said Mayor Lee. “We know there are challenges to raising children in San Francisco, and this program is one way we are helping to ease the financial burden for our families.”

San Francisco is home to thousands of local students in need of financial support inside and outside the classroom. The Mayor’s Backpack Giveaway is a way of responding to those needs while also facilitating efforts between corporate sponsors and local youth organizations to help support academic achievement.

Sunnydale is San Francisco’s largest public housing project and is slated to be rebuilt as part of HOPE SF. Mercy Housing, a nonprofit housing organization, will develop and operate the property, and is partnering with residents and community in back-to-school activities.

“As part of Mercy Housing’s commitment to providing the services families and communities need to truly thrive, we are honored to be part of the Mayor’s Backpack Giveaway for the sixth year,” said Tangerine Brigham, Board Chair of Mercy Housing California. “This coming school year is going to be an exciting one, for the youth who will expand their horizons and build new friendships, and for the Sunnydale community, which will celebrate the groundbreaking on 55 new affordable homes in early 2018.”

“Supporting our families in getting a strong start back-to-school shows that San Francisco is delivering on our promise to ensure all of our residents, especially our low-income families, share in the prosperity and opportunity of our City,” said Theo Miller, HOPE SF Director. “These communities are our communities, our San Francisco.”

During the course of the Mayor’s Backpack Giveaway program, more than 21,000 backpacks have been distributed to children. The 5,500 backpacks distributed this summer will be the most in the 11-year history of the program.

As part of the Backpack Giveaway, the City partners with nonprofit organizations such as the Family Restoration House, Salvation Army, Boys and Girls Club of San Francisco, Mission Economic Development Association and Collective Impact, among others.

On August 10, Mayor Lee handed out backpacks to children at the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center.

“Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center and BRIDGE Housing Corporation take pride in developing affordable housing that provides individuals and families with a decent and healthy place to live,” said Gina Dacus, Executive Director of the Bernal Heights Neighborhood Center. “However, we realize that housing alone is not enough. Community building activities, such as this backpack giveaway, which provides books and supply-filled backpacks to low-income residents, are critical in helping children and their families gain the necessary tools for success.”

Corporate sponsors of the Mayor’s Backpack Giveaway include the Golden State Warriors, LinkedIn, Recology, SupplyBank.org and Comcast.

“This program, which addresses a pressing need in our community, aligns with the Warriors Foundation’s core mission of supporting education and youth development,” said Joanne Pasternack, Golden State Warriors Vice President of Community Relations and Executive Director of the Warriors Community Foundation. “For children, a new backpack is a symbol of optimism for the year ahead. We look forward to seeing the hundreds of Warriors-themed backpacks we are providing in support of Mayor Lee’s program in schools all around San Francisco as the children embark on another year of learning.”

“SupplyBank.Org’s K to College program works with charitable back-to-school efforts across the state to ensure all students have the materials they need to succeed and learn in the classroom,” said Executive Director Benito Delgado-Olson. “Under the leadership of the Mayor and his dynamic team, San Francisco has consistently been the farthest reaching effort, serving more than 65,000 students in the last five years.”

Mayor Lee has made youth empowerment programs a priority of his administration. In March, he hosted his annual Youth Jobs+ initiative, which challenges employers of both large and small companies to create jobs, internships and paid job training for San Francisco residents. This year’s event provided more than 6,100 pledged jobs for young residents, and during its six years of existence, more than 35,000 youth have been connected with employers.

Earlier this year, Mayor Lee helped lead a $5.4 million plan to provide free tuition at the City College of San Francisco for all California residents. The funding will not only provide free tuition, but will also include a $500 grant for low-income students to use on books, transportation, supplies and health fees. There will be a $200 grant for low-income residents who are part-time students at the school as well. The first plan of its kind in the nation, Free City College will take effect the fall semester.