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Registration open for Back 2 School backpack event

July 8, 2020
By MEGHAN BRADBURY ( , Lehigh Acres Citizen

Registration is now open for the annual Back 2 School backpack and school supply event, which is scheduled to take place later this month at New Life Assembly.

Registration can be done by calling Lehigh Community Services at 239-369-5818 through Friday, July 17, or until registration is full.

"We are registering people every day," Lehigh Community Services Executive Director Carolyn Peplow said.

The drive-thru pick up event will be held from 10 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday, July 25, at New Life Assembly, 5146 Leonard Blvd. S. The Back 2 School event is open for students in grades kindergarten through 12th grade, who are Lehigh Acres residents.

The sponsors of the event include New Life Assembly, Lehigh Community Service, Christ United Methodist Church, Mothers Empowering Women, Inc., First Christian Church, as well as many individuals and businesses of the community who help assist a minimum of 700 students.

Peplow said the backpacks will be prepacked using school lists, according to grade level. She said there will be such supplies as pencils, paper, notebooks, composition books, scissors, crayons, markers, erasers, pencil sharpeners and pencil bags or boxes.

Peplow said between Lehigh Community Services and their partners they are planning on providing at least 700 backpacks.

Lehigh Community Services is currently offering all of its services by appointment in the office. Services include financial and food stamp appointments in the parking lot through car windows, all by appointment.

For those who must enter the office, a thorough cleaning is done of the space, and sneeze guards have been installed.

The food pantry is by appointment as well. The client provides their make, model and color of their car and Lehigh Community Services volunteers place the food in the client's trunk to have contactless services at the time provided.

"We put it in their trunk and let them leave. It seems to work out pretty well," Peplow said, adding that they provide the same numbers of food as before the COVID-19 pandemic because they have limited space and time. "We can only do pantry so many days without running out of food."

Approximately 60 percent of the clients are returning clients and 40 percent are new to Lehigh Community Services.

Peplow said for the most part all of the food pantries are open again in Lehigh and there are still mobile food pantries coming to the area.



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