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Backpacks & Breakfast annual event makes changes because of pandemic; register for backpacks here

Backpacks filled with school supplies will be given away to Northern Kentucky students from low-income families but not at the annual Backpacks & Breakfast event that many families have relied on but rather through a sweepstakes this year.

Because of concerns about spreading COVID-19, the Backpacks & Breakfast event that Northern Kentucky Harvest has hosted annually for the past 19 years will instead turn to a free lottery open to students from low-income families in Boone, Campbell, and Kenton counties.

To receive a backpack, families need to register by July 30. A total of 912 backpacks filled with grade-appropriate school supplies will be given away to students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

Photo from previous year event

Frisch’s which in past years has provided a free breakfast to all who attended the event in Covington’s Goebel Park will contribute coupons good for a free kid’s meal in each backpack distributed.

To register for the 2020 Backpacks & Breakfast lottery, email the following information to backpacks@beconcerned.org: parent/guardians’ name, address, email, and phone number; and student’s name, school, and grade level.

“We’re emphasizing that people need to sign up for backpacks this year before the give-away weekend,” said Paul Gottbrath, Harvest’s board president. “That’s the biggest change.”

After the drawing for the backpacks is completed on July 31, families receiving backpacks will be notified and given instructions on picking them up.

Distribution will take place on Aug. 8-9 in the parking lot of Be Concerned, 1100 Pike St., Covington. Be Concerned along with Brighton Center, a partner in the Backpacks and Breakfast event for the past two decades, will use a “car-hop” model for the two-day backpack distribution. Families will drive in and remain in their cars as volunteers take their information and give it to runners who will fill backpack orders.

Major sponsors of the 2020 Backpacks & Breakfast, the largest school readiness undertaking in Northern Kentucky, are the Butler Foundation and the R.C. Durr Foundation. Also providing financial support are the Scripps Howard Foundation, the Western & Southern Financial Fund, St. Pius X Church, the Sofagives Charitable Fund, the T.J. Johnson State Farm Insurance Agency, and the Women of the Covington Moose Lodge.

In addition to Frisch’s, in-kind support is coming from St. Joseph Catholic Church, Cold Spring; St. Timothy Church, Union; and Immanuel United Methodist Church, Lakeside Park.

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