Supervisor Kathryn Barger and the Dept. of Public Social Services Provide Backpacks, School Supplies and Books to Local Students

Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger joined Department of Public Social Services Director Antonia Jiménez and DPSS Toy Loan Program staff on Monday to distribute backpacks and school supplies to local children ages 5 through 17 at Farnsworth Park in Altadena.

Observing the requirements to wear masks and social distancing guidelines, participating families remained safely in their vehicles while DPSS Toy Loan staff placed the backpacks in their trunks.

Toy Loan Backpack Giveaway

“It’s a privilege to equip the youth in our communities with the essential tools they need to be successful this school year,” Supervisor Barger said. “Preparing a child for school can be costly for families, especially during these challenging times.”

Toy Loan 5th Giveaway

Barger acknowledged the fifth annual Backpack Giveaway’s support of low-income families in L.A. County.  She also commended the 85-year-old Toy Loan Program for its well-earned reputation as the largest and most successful free toy-lending library program in the nation.

Similar to book loans from a library, the program allows children to borrow toys by checking them out and returning them for a new one.

“The Board of Supervisors has supported the program since its creation in 1935 during the Great Depression as a free service to enrich the lives of low-income children,” Barger said.  “Children who participate develop a sense of responsibility by observing an honor code and merit system that rewards them when toys are returned on time and in good condition.”

Toy Loan Backpack

Toy Loan Program serves approximately 30,000 children annually at more than 50 toy lending libraries housed at after school programs, community centers, nonprofit organizations and libraries throughout the county. There are five Centers located in the 5th Supervisorial District, including the Antelope Valley Kidz Connection, Covina Public Library, Glendale Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, Mission College Child Development Center and the Santa Clarita Valley Community Center.

Backpack Giveaway

DPSS Director Antonia Jiménez added that all backpacks and school supplies were donated by County of L.A. employees, L.A. Public Library, private and corporate donors, and through a partnership with Amazon, which allowed online donations by visiting the Toy Loan Program’s Amazon Smile wish list.  Trader Joe’s and Grocery Outlet Altadena were also on-site providing snacks to families and Shoes That Fit donated brand name footwear to every child in attendance.  “Our department recognizes the increasing support that children need during this pandemic, Jiménez said. “We want to ensure they are prepared with the tools necessary for a successful school year.”