Health Plans to Distribute Backpacks, School Supplies

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POMONA (CNS) - One-thousand backpacks filled with school supplies are set to be distributed today at the first of seven drive-thru giveaways by L.A. Care Health Plan and Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan.

The event -- which is one of three that will include a food pantry to hand out groceries -- will be held between 9 a.m. and noon at the Community Resource Center, 696 W. Holt Ave.

A local nonprofit organization, Access Books, will also distribute 100 tote bags at each giveaway with children's books featuring positive and uplifting stories to help young readers cope with the stress of the coronavirus pandemic, officials said.

 "Regardless of what returning to school may look like this year, we know students will need the necessary materials to succeed,'' said Kellie Todd Griffin, Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan's senior director of community and provider engagement. ``Many families are in need during this difficult time, and we are committed to be a resource by providing backpacks, filled with essential school supplies, to help alleviate additional burdens as they prepare for the start of the school year.''

Other giveaways are set between 9 a.m. and noon on the following dates:

  -- July 31 (including food pantry) at Belvedere Community Regional Park, 4914 East Cesar E Chavez Ave., Los Angeles;

  -- Aug. 1 at Pacoima Family Resource Center, 10807 San Fernando Road, Pacoima;

  -- Aug. 7 (including food pantry) at  Boyle Heights Family Resource Center  1773 Zonal Ave., Los Angeles (USC Parking Lot 10);

  -- Aug. 8 at Community Resource Center,  2072 E. Palmdale Blvd., Palmdale;

  -- Aug. 14 at Community Resource Center, 3200 East Imperial Highway, Lynwood;

  -- Aug. 15 at Weingart YMCA Wellness & Aquatic Center, 9900 S. Vermont Ave., Los Angeles

Four events will be hosted by the health plans' jointly operated Community Resource Centers, and three will be hosted by L.A. Care Family Resource Centers.

Last September, L.A. Care and Blue Shield Promise announced a combined investment of $146 million as part of a five-year commitment to expand Community Resource Centers across Los Angeles County in an effort to help improve health outcomes in local communities and the total quality of life formembers of the two health plans.

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