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Backpacks and school supply distribution bring sense of normalcy for kids in Los Angeles

Los Angeles, USIn an effort to start the new school year with some sense of normalcy during the coronavirus pandemic, thousands of backpacks with school supplies were distributed on Friday in Los Angeles to low income families.

"A new backpack for so many kids, that's the tradition, that's the routine they're used to. And one of the challenges in managing our fear and anxiety during a time like this, is to maintain our routines and establish new routines," said Richard Seidman, Chief Medical Officer for L.A. Care Health. 43-year-old Octavia Reyes became emotional when she received the school supplies and a box of fresh fruit. Reyes shares her home with six family members, with only two of them currently holding down jobs.
"We really need this because my husband doesn't have a job. This is a lot of help for us. I'm very grateful for all the people that have helped us, we really need this," said Reyes. The line of cars waiting for a donation extended outside of the large parking lot to the heavily trafficked street near downtown Los Angeles.

Connie Arzate was part of the large car caravan, accompanied by her husband and two children. Since the pandemic started, it has been tough for her family to make ends meet. "There is hardly any work. We're wondering if next month we're going to have enough money to pay our rent, our bills, it's tough," said Arzate.
Most schools in California will start the new school year with remote learning. Michael is a father to two kids and says he can't wait for the day when they can go back to school in person. "I like whatever the normal was. I think the kids need social activity. They need to interact with more people. I mean, just imagine, they're together 24-hours a day. They're on each other's throats."

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