A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Northern Kentucky Harvest’s Backpacks and Breakfast set for Aug. 11 in Goebel Park

Northern Kentucky Harvest will help equip more than 1,000 students from low-income families for the new school year at the 18th annual Backpacks and Breakfast, set for Aug. 11 at Goebel Park in Covington.

The event starts at 9 a.m., but participants typically begin lining up for backpacks as early as  6:30 a.m.

Families will receive new backpacks stuffed with new, grade-specific school supplies on a first-come, first-served basis.

Photos from last year’s event

The event is open to households in Kenton, Campbell, and Boone counties for students in kindergarten through the 12th grade. To receive backpacks, parents or guardians should bring picture I.D.s for themselves, proof of residence like a recent bill, and Social Security cards or medical cards for their children.

For the 18th consecutive year, Frisch’s, which was Harvest’s original partner in the project, will provide a free breakfast for all attendees.

Employees of Zwicker & Associates, a Hebron law firm, gave a major boost to this year’s event by collecting 268 backpacks. More than 200 of those were stuffed with school supplies.

Backpacks started in 2001, when 150 backpacks were distributed.

“We recognized that back-to-school expenses posed a real hardship for low-income families already struggling to pay for food, housing, utilities, transportation and health care,” said Paul Gottbrath, board president of Northern Kentucky Harvest.

The event grew steadily, and through 2017 had provided nearly 11,000 backpacks. It has been the largest school readiness event in Northern Kentucky for nearly a decade.

Major sponsors are the Butler Foundation and the R.C. Durr Foundation. Other financial supporters include the Scripps Howard Foundation, the Summertime Kids Fund of the Greater Cincinnati Foundation, Humana CareSource, the Western & Southern Financial Fund, Community Family Church and St. Pius X Church. Joining Zwicker in providing in-kind support were the Covington Moose Lodge, St. Joseph Church in Cold Spring, St. Timothy Catholic Church, Children Inc. and Community of Faith Presbyterian Church.

“Backpacks could never have persisted so long or grown to the size it is today without the support of the community,” Gottbrath said. “We are so grateful to our sponsors, our in-kind supporters and our volunteers for making this happen every year.”

Northern Kentucky Harvest was incorporated in 1999 as a nonprofit organization with a mission of assisting established social service agencies in meeting the basic needs of the low-income population of Kenton, Campbell and Boone counties. 

 

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