Giving kids the tools they need to succeed! Hundreds of children receive backpacks filled with supplies

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Students at Doerfler Elementary School walked in to quite the surprise Wednesday morning, September 10th! Students received free backpacks -- filled with school supplies! It's all part of the annual "Backpack Buddies" program.

"I was like 'are they going to give them out or something?'" second-grader Justin Chico said.

"You can kind of feel the energy and excitement in the air when you`re here," Balistreri-owned Sendik's Food Markets Owner Margaret Harris said.

Hundreds of backpacks filled the school's auditorium, and the backpacks weren't empty!

"Glue sticks, a scissor, and crayons," first-grader Analisa Ortega said.

Ortega was thrilled to see all the school supplies inside.

"There`s surprises in here!" Ortega said.

The backpacks were purchased by Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin using the proceeds of the 3,100 plush "backpack buddies" sold at participating Balisteri-owned Sendik's Food Markets.

Sendik's and Feeding American Eastern Wisconsin are hoping to break the cycle of poverty by providing children with the tools they need to be successful in school.

"Education is the number one way that kids can find themselves out of poverty as they get older," Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin President Bonnie Bellehuemeur said.

The Milwaukee Public School District selects schools with a high poverty rate to receive the backpacks.

This year 1,000 backpacks will be distributed to MPS schools -- and the children appreciate it.

"I love all of the people that help us in our community," Oretga said.

For more information on how to donate to the cause CLICK HERE.