Giveaway of school supplies planned

CHAMPAIGN — Local churches will give away more than 900 backpacks stuffed with school supplies and other items to families in need on Aug. 4 at Salt and Light, 1512 W. Anthony Drive, C.

The free items are part of the 10th annual Family Resource Day held by the Christian Mercy and Justice Network, a ministry of local churches.

The event will take place from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

In addition to the free backpacks, items being given away will include free carseats and instructions on how to use them, as well as clothing and food, said Vern Fein, event cochairman.

There will also be information provided about back-to-school physicals and other community information families need, he said.

With a large gathering expected, Fein said, the sponsors want to provide as many services and fill as many needs as they can.

In other years, some families come early, he said.

"We get people who line up at 5:30 in the morning," Fein said.

People planning to obtain backpacks or supplies for their children must bring proof of dependency for each child, such as a birth certificate, medical card, Department of Human Services tuition waiver or WIC (Women, Infants and Children program) booklet, Fein said.

The Christian Mercy and Justice Network is a core group of six to eight churches, but about 20 churches contribute to parts of its work and take part in Family Resource Day, he said.

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