Up to 33,000 backpacks filled with school supplies will be handed out free of charge to Los Angeles County students from kindergarten through college this month and next, L.A. Care and Blue Shield of California Promise health plans announced.

It will be the third year the two health plans have held the back-to-school giveaway.

The giveaways will take place at a series of events throughout Los Angeles County, including the health plans’ jointly operated Community Resource Centers, starting Saturday and continuing through Aug. 13. Six of the 11 events will also feature free tote bags filled with groceries.

According to a recent Pew Research Center study, seven out of 10 Americans view inflation as the top problem facing the country, and the current price of many consumer goods has increased at the fastest year-over-year rate in four decades.

“With more families feeling the pinch of inflation everywhere from the supermarket to the gas station, we are glad to alleviate some of the costs associated with gearing up for a new school year,” said John Baackes, L.A. Care chief executive officer.

“Families should be focused on school readiness, and not on what supplies they can skimp on to make ends meet.”

To best serve a large turnout of attendees, eight of the 11 events will be held at places that can accommodate both drive-through and walk-up formats. Three events will be held at the Community Resource Centers in Inglewood, Norwalk and Koreatown.

“We want to bring some peace of mind to families impacted by rising costs due to inflation, and to provide students across L.A. County with backpacks, food, and other necessary school supplies to help ensure a successful school year,” said Dr. James Cruz, chief medical officer for Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan.

“Through these back-to-school events, everyone can also learn about the vital resources available at our Community Resources Centers to help them live a healthy life.”

The first giveaway will take place Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Palomares Park, 499 E. Arrow Highway in Pomona.

For a list of all the giveaway locations, see news.blueshieldca.com.

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