Two companies partnered last week to make sure the academic year got off to a good start for students at two schools.
Morning Star Packing Co. in Los Banos and the Irvine-based Golden State Foods provided about 300 backpacks filled with school supplies to children at Los Banos and Westside Union elementary schools on the first day of school.
The businesses hand-delivered green and blue backpacks on Aug. 14 to about 100 students at Westside Union in the morning and nearly 200 to Los Banos Elementary in the afternoon.
“We’ve been doing this for four years now. It’s exciting, the kids love it and we’re giving back to the community,” said Becky Wahlberg of Morning Star, a tomato processing business.
Whalberg said Golden State Foods, a client of Morning Star, established a foundation to help families in need and it was important they concentrate their efforts in communities where they do business.
The schools chose to distribute the backpacks to their youngest students.
Joe McColloch, principal of Westside Union, said all first-graders received the donations regardless of need. At Los Banos Elementary, kindergarten students were the recipients.
Most children were seemingly half the size of their new backpacks — each filled with rulers, glue, pencils, markers, scissors, paper and other school-related items.
McColloch said his staff and the school district are appreciative of the annual donation.
Martie Lloyd, a secretary at Los Banos Elementary who helps coordinate many school activities, said the donations are helpful.
“The children were excited with their new backpacks and thrilled to see their new pencil boxes, crayons ... The parents also appreciate having the paper and supplies for their child to use at home for their homework. The school’s teachers and staff welcome this generous contribution to assist in this time of economic pressures,” she said.