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United Way Monterey County will launch its 11th annual Stuff the Bus campaign on Saturday, June 5, at the King City Fairground to collect school supplies for students in need. 

“The Covid-19 pandemic was making purchasing school supplies harder for families who were already having financial Difficulties,” Oscar Avalos, president of the Rotary Club in King City, said. “We look forward to not only helping monetarily but volunteering to prepare the backpacks on June 5th.” 

King City and Gonzales Rotary clubs are using a $5000 grant to purchase school supplies.

UWMC and Monterey County Office of Education lead the Staff the Bus program. They collect backpacks, binders, notebooks, pencils, colors and so on. 

"2020 school data indicates there are nearly 10,000 local students experiencing housing instability. It costs only $25 to provide a fully stuffed backpack for a student in need,” Katy Castagna, the president of UWMC said in a press release. “Stuff the Bus will help ease the burden of additional costs for families. More importantly, it will ensure these students start school with the tools they need to learn." 

Last year the program distributed 4,040 backpacks in the county. The supplies are mainly for very low income and unsheltered students; the Homeless Liaisons from each school district will distribute them.

The event, sponsored by the Rotary Club of King City, will be held on Saturday from 9am to 12pm.

This year, instead of collecting the supplies, UWMC is requesting monetary donations online to purchase them in order to comply with Covid-19 protocols. 

For more information contact Lynda Patrick at or 372-8026, ext. 112.

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