NORMAL, Ill. (WMBD) — A local non-profit is continuing its mission of making sure students in the Twin Cities are prepared for the first day of school.

The Back 2 School Alliance has hosted a backpack giveaway for over a decade. The event usually takes place at Grossinger Motors Arena.

This year, the event is being held drive-thru style at State Farm’s north parking lot.

The event and organization provide backpacks and other school supplies to other low-income students in both McLean County Unit 5 Schools and Bloomington District 87.

The event is for students in pre-school through eighth grade.

Taunia Leffler an organizer of the event said they’re expecting to hand out at least 3,000 free backpacks, but could be as high as 4,000.

Leffler said COVID-19 has caused a greater need for assistance this year for families.

“We anticipate about a 25% increase in the need here in our area, and you look at the school supplies, by the time you buy the backpack and supplies even at the grade school you’re looking at least $35-$40,” Leffler said.

Leffler said the event’s longevity is not possible without the support from the numerous volunteering organizations and community members.

The event is Wednesday, Aug 11 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.