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Free backpacks, haircuts get kids back-to-school ready in Ilion

It’s almost time for kids to head back to school, and with that comes getting students back-to-school ready.

Posted: Aug. 17, 2018 5:26 PM

ILION – It’s almost time for kids to head back to school, and with that comes getting students back-to-school ready.

To celebrate National Health Center Week, Valley Family Health Center at the Arc Herkimer Mall in Ilion gave away backpacks to those in need.

About 800 backpacks were distributed from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., along with snow cones, haircuts and cookies – and it was all free.

“It means a lot because, you know, a lot of times too for the parents, it's hard because that's just one more thing they have to buy,” said Bonnie Muffett, a social work care manager. “And if we can provide in one little way … and the kids love them. They’re really neat colors. It's kind of cool because we’ll be driving through the community and we’ll see the kids with them from last year’s. So yeah, it’s pretty neat. The kids love it.”

Last year, about 400 backpacks were given away. Organizers say there were more kids in need of school supplies this year than in past years.

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