Back to school can be a rough time of year for many, but a community-wide effort is making things just a little bit easier for some Newark families.
Spearheaded by Central Ward Councilwoman Gayle Chaneyfield Jenkins, and through combined efforts of generous sponsors, the Central Ward Back to School Backpack Giveaway is back this year, and bigger and better than ever.
Already in its fourth year, the initiative provides struggling families with peace of mind and this year, more than 1,100 backpacks—all filled with brand new school supplies—will be given away to a host of families throughout the Central Ward and beyond.
The event, which will take place on Saturday, Sept. 2, at Newark’s Branch Brook Park, will feature music, food, face painting and, new this year, bumper cars.
Sponsors of the event include Chaneyfield Jenkins, Verizon, the Martha and Joe Chaneyfield Foundation, Newark Charter School Fund, Newark Downtown District, Panasonic, Whole Foods Newark, Sterling Securities, Shoprite, Capital One, Blimpie, Nestle Waters, Women in Newark, Sauder’s Law LLC, Bayway Catering, Yo Pat, Savvy Marketing Entertainment Group, The Party Rental People and Nutany Publishing Company, LLC.
According to Khalil Nass, chief of staff for Chaneyfield Jenkins, the initiative has grown each year.
“Each year, it’s gotten bigger,” Nass said, noting last year’s donation of 850 backpacks. “This year, we brought in all these sponsors who have really helped.”