Peoria students get free back packs

Back Pack Peoria

By Beau Ebenezer

July 28, 2012 Updated Jul 28, 2012 at 8:10 PM CDT

PEORIA Ill -- Area families had a chance to get a head start on their school shopping list at the eleventh annual Back Pack Peoria.

Hundreds waited in line at Dream Center Peoria for free school supplies including a backpack.

Peoria resident, Jennifer Chick knows the process all too well. After missing her chance on a uniform discount for her child last year, she waited four hours in line to beat the crowd.

"Last year I came at about six o'clock and I was clear around the building so I figured the early bird gets the worm," said Chick.

Because of the big turnout in recent years, organizers decided to bring in 35,000 back packs instead of 2,300 like last year to make sure they didn't run out.

Back packs included a meal along with some minor school supplies.

After registering, families were required to have five different exhibits sign their card in order to receive the free backpack.

"A lot of them are low income families, single parent moms, grandparents raising the kids, so to come along side them and say, hey we are gonna help with some of the basic needs for school. It's huge, and they're so appreciative of it," said Director of Dream Center Peoria, Andy King.

"This just to have to start off with their school supplies is a big relief and any and every little thing helps, so I'm very grateful and thankful for it. And I appreciate everything that the Dream Center is doing," said parent, Tracy Marshall.

The day wrapped up with a free dental check.

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