The 16th annual Back-To-School Backpack Giveaway in Mendota is Sunday morning with plans to pass out over 1,000 backpacks to students.
The giveaway begins at 10 a.m. in front of Gutierrez Recycling Center on 7th Street between Oller and Naples streets. In addition to the backpacks filled with pencils, notebooks, folders and other school supplies, there will be informational booths, free food and music.
Ignacio Gutierrez, who owns the business, is partnering this year with Mayor Robert Silva, the City Council and staff of the City of Mendota to put on the event. He also receives donations from other businesses and local organizations.
The annual giveaway started in 2000 when Gutierrez’s late wife, Victoria, wanted to help children in the community succeed in school. It’s been held annually ever since with the exception of 2011, the year of Victoria’s death.
Monica Gutierrez said at the 2013 event of her father’s continuing passion, “This is something he does out of his heart. “We don’t ask for anything – just for parents to bring their kids.”