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Supervisor Kathryn Barger and the Dept. of Public Social Services Provide Backpacks, Footwear and Books to Local Students

Supervisor Kathryn Barger helps hand backpack and school supplies through car window to an Hispanic Family of three, including a young boy holding his new Adidas footwear.

Los Angeles County Board of Supervisor Kathryn Barger joined Department of Public Social Services Director Antonia Jiménez and DPSS Toy Loan Program staff on Monday September 28, 2020 to distribute backpacks and school supplies to local children ages 5 through 17 at Farnsworth Park in Altadena.

Following social distancing guidelines, participating families remained safely in their vehicles while DPSS Toy Loan staff placed the backpacks in the trunk of each car.

“It’s a privilege to equip the youth in our communities with the essential tools they need to be successful this school year,” Supervisor Barger said. "Preparing a child for school can be costly for families, especially during these challenging times."

Barger acknowledged the fifth annual Backpack Giveaway’s support of low-income families in L.A. County.  She also commended the 85-year-old Toy Loan Program for its well-earned reputation as the largest and most successful free toy-lending library Program in the nation.

Similar to borrowing books from a library, the Program allows children to borrow toys by checking them out and exchanging them for a new one each week.

“The Board of Supervisors has supported the Program since its creation in 1935 during the Great Depression as a free service to enrich the lives of low-income children,” Barger said.  “Children who participate, develop a sense of responsibility by observing an honor code and merit system that rewards them when toys are returned on time and in good condition.”

Toy Loan Program serves approximately 30,000 children annually at more than 50 toy lending libraries housed at after school programs, community centers, nonprofit organizations and libraries throughout the county. There are five Centers located in the 5th Supervisorial District, including the Antelope Valley Kidz Connection, Covina Public Library, Glendale Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, Mission College Child Development Center and the Santa Clarita Valley Community Center.

DPSS Director Antonia Jiménez added that all backpacks and school supplies were donated through public and private partnerships. Trader Joe’s Pasadena and Grocery Outlet Altadena were also on-site providing snacks to families and Shoes That Fit donated brand name footwear to every child in attendance.  “Our department recognizes the increasing support that children need during this pandemic, Jiménez said. “We want to ensure they are prepared with the tools necessary for a successful school year.”