MetroPlusHealth Teams up With Community Groups to Gift 30,000 Backpacks to NYC Students

Backpack giveaway and local back-to-school events will help kick off a happy and healthy school year 

NEW YORK, Sept. 5, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — MetroPlusHealth, New York City’s high-quality and affordable health plan, is pleased to announce a gift of 30,000 backpacks intended to reduce stress on low-income families with children headed back to school across the City. In partnership with several other community organizations and elected officials, this effort aims to support families as they prepare for the school year ahead, reaching neighborhoods across all five NYC boroughs and ensuring students have the tools they need to start or continue their academic journey.

Students will benefit from this initiative during 25+ back-to-school and health outreach events through September 26. These events also serve as an opportunity for attendees to engage with local agencies, encouraging families to discover and access resources available to them throughout the year.

“As we head into a new school year, NYC parents are facing a list of concerns including heightened costs for school supplies and increasing cases of COVID, RSV and flu. At MetroPlusHealth, we not only prioritize providing care in the case of health problems, but also preventing them in the first place,” said Erin M. Drinkwater, Chief of Government Relations & Strategic Partnerships. “We’re elated to assist these families in making sure their children have a strong and healthy start to the school year.”

The school bag giveaway program is just one part of MetroPlusHealth’s ongoing commitment to making New York students happier and healthier. As parents and kids across New York City get ready for the new school year, MetroPlusHealth has released a resource pamphlet reminding New Yorkers to follow tips for back-to-school health and to facilitate access to the plan’s low or no-cost coverage. With MetroPlusHealth’s Child Health Plus Plan, children under the age of 19 can receive care from the plan’s extensive network of 34,000+ of the City’s top doctors, 40+ hospitals including NYU Langone, Mount Sinai, and NY Health + Hospitals, as well as 110+ urgent care sites including CityMD locations.

Please see below for statements from New York City and State officials:

Cordell Cleare, New York Senator for District 30: “Going back to school should be an exciting time for our kids. But having the supplies that aid in their success is not as accessible as they should be for every child. Through their donation of backpacks and other resources, MetroPlusHealth continues to reaffirm a commitment and understanding of a holistic view of community engagement.”

David Weprin, Assembly Member for District 24: “I want to thank MetroPlusHealth for their partnership in ensuring that every child who needs a backpack for school can have one. Being prepared on day one for school sets the tone for a successful academic year. I am excited to once again be part of the backpack giveaway to help families get ready for the upcoming school year.”

Jessica González-Rojas, Assembly Member for District 34: “I’m so grateful to MetroPlusHealth for their generous backpack donations for children in my Assembly District. Many of the low-income families I represent are struggling to make ends meet, and these backpacks will help alleviate some of the financial pressure of preparing for the new school year. I look forward to working with MetroPlusHealth again to bring these vital resources to our communities.”

Zohran K. Mamdani, Assembly Member for District 26: “As rents and the cost of living rise, I’m proud to be a part of this backpack giveaway initiative alongside MetroPlusHealth to make sure that no child is priced out of one of their most critical school supplies. As we continue to fight to make sure government can fully fund public goods and make it possible for all young New Yorkers to succeed, this initiative highlights our shared belief in the need for universal access to quality education.”

Kamillah Hanks, Council Member for District 49: “I was proud to partner with MetroPlusHealth to supply hundreds of backpacks to students in my district. As the new school year commences, my dedication remains steadfast in ensuring that students have the necessary tools for success. I extend my gratitude to MetroPlusHealth for joining me in this endeavor, and I wish all our students the best of luck in the upcoming school year!”

Shahana Hanif, Council Member for District 39: “Thanks to our friends at MetroPlusHealth, dozens of students will now be able to start school with the supplies they need. I want to extend my deepest gratitude to MetroPlusHealth, the Arab-American Family Support Center, and all our community partners for demonstrating to our youth that they will not be abandoned. Because of the community’s help and generosity, our students will be ready for success in the coming school year.”

Pierina Sanchez, Council Member for District 14: “When our youth have the resources they need, thriving becomes that much easier. Thank you to MetroPlusHealth for their contributions to our district’s students. By working collaboratively to ease the burdens faced by our families, we ensure students have the essential tools to flourish academically. I wish them continued success this upcoming school year.”

To learn more about MetroPlusHealth and its initiatives, visit

Event dates and locations:

  • August 17: Council Member Kevin Riley’s Back-to-School Family Fun Day
    • Location: Bridgefield Civic League, Bronx
  • August 18: Back-to-School Event at Tompkinsville Park
    • Location: 206 Bay Street, Staten Island
  • August 19: Council Member Lincoln Restler’s Back-to-School Event
    • Location: Brooklyn Community Office 2221, Brooklyn
  • August 20: Assembly Member Emily Gallagher’s Family Day Event
    • Location: Berry S. 9th Street Houses, Brooklyn
  • August 23: Council Member Kamillah Hanks’ Back-to-School Event
    • Location: 130 Stuyvesant Place 6th Floor, Room 602, Staten Island
  • August 24: Univision Back-to-School Event, Day 1
    • Location: Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens
  • August 24: Gotham Health Cumberland Back-to-School Giveaway
    • Location: NYC Health + Hospitals/Gotham Health, Cumberland, Brooklyn
  • August 25: Univision Back-to-School Event, Day 2
    • Location: Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Queens
  • August 25: Back-to-School Event with Senator Kristen Gonzalez
    • Location: Queensbridge Houses, Queens
  • August 26: Against Da Grain Back-to-School Event, Tompkinsville Park
    • Location: 206 Bay Street, Staten Island
  • August 27: Back-to-School Event with Council Member Sandy Nurse
    • Location: Highland Park, Brooklyn
  • August 30: Assemblyman Khaleel Anderson’s Healthy Minds & Bodies Back-to-School Event
    • Location: Channel View School, Rockaway Park, Queens
  • August 30: Back-to-School Event with Senator Robert Jackson
    • Location: Riverside-Inwood Neighborhood Garden, Manhattan
  • August 31: Back-to-School with Assembly Member Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas (JGR)
    • Location: Queens Museum, Queens
  • August 31: Back-to-School with Council Member Carmen de la Rosa
    • Location: Dykman Houses, Manhattan
  • September 1: Council Member Crystal Hudson’s Back-to-School Event with NY Liberty
    • Location: Barclays Center, Brooklyn
  • September 3: Assemblyman David Weprin’s Back-to-School Event with MetroPlusHealth
    • Location: Smokey Park, Richmond Hill, Queens
  • September 3: Back-to-School Event with Senator Cordell Cleare
    • Location: 104 Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard, Manhattan
  • September 5: Back-to-School with Assembly Member Catalina Cruz
    • Location: Queens Museum, Queens
  • September 6: Council Member Lynn Schulman’s Back-to-School Event
    • Location: Boys & Girls Club of Metro Queens, Queens
  • September 9: Back-to-School Block Party
    • Location: 650 Hollywood Avenue, Bronx
  • September 9: Assembly Member Catalina Cruz’s Back-to-School Event
    • Location: Queens Museum, Queens
  • September 26: Assembly Member Zohran Mamdani’s Back-to-School Event
    • Location: Queens Museum, Queens

About MetroPlusHealth
Since 1985, MetroPlusHealth has helped the people of New York City get quality health care at little to no cost. MetroPlusHealth is the plan of choice for over 700,000 New Yorkers, and its commercial and government-sponsored plans meet the needs of individuals, families, and workforces. The MetroPlusHealth staff speaks more than 40 languages and is as diverse as the great City it serves. MetroPlusHealth is part of NYC Health + Hospitals, the nation’s largest public health system. For more information, visit Join the conversation on social media at @metroplushealth.

MEDIA CONTACT: Michelle Dominguez; [email protected] 

SOURCE MetroPlusHealth

MetroPlusHealth (PRNewsfoto/MetroPlusHealth)

Originally published at
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