For the fourth year in a row, the City of Binghamton and CARES are providing free backpacks to Binghamton City School District students. 

The annual backpack drive is a team effort between the city and the nonprofit. The city provided $7,400 in funding, with which CARES was able to get 760 backpacks and filled them with school supplies. 

CARES (Community Advocates Restoring Educational Standards) says, this year, families have been hit especially hard financially due to COVID-19. They say it was more important than ever to be able to provide this needed supplies to students in the community. 

"This is, for us, an invaluable and important initiative," says Dr. Denise Yull, Chair of CARES, "To support families who have been marginalized, who historically have been left out of access to funds and things of that sort."

The backpacks will be available for pickup next week at summer meal sites specified below. 

Tuesday, August 25th from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.:

  • Theodore Roosevelt Elementary School
  • Lee Barta Community Center
  • Saratoga Apartments
  • East Middle School

Thursday, August 27th from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.:

  • Horace Mann Elementary School
  • Woodrow Wilson Elementary School
  • Benjamin Franklin Elementary School

The backpacks will be distributed on a first-come-first-serve basis to students from Pre-K to 12th grade. Students must be present in order for families to pick up supplies for them.