With Students Returning to Campus in the Fall, L.A. Care and Blue Shield Promise Health Plans Community Resource Centers Provide FREE Back-to-School Relief to Communities in Need

LOS ANGELES – In preparation for the return to in-person classes this fall, the jointly-operated L.A. Care Health Plan and Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan Community Resource Centers are hosting a series of back-to-school events where they will provide 25,000 FREE backpacks filled with school supplies to children ages four and older. The drive-thru and walk-up events are taking place throughout Los Angeles County from July 16 to August 14, and they are open to everyone.

survey conducted in 2020 by NPR, the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation found that a majority (61 percent) of households with children, reported serious financial problems such as depleted savings as well as trouble affording food and paying their household bills. Additionally, the majority of these hardships were concentrated among Black and Latino households.         

Both health plans, which serve primarily low-income populations in L.A. County, recognize that while the economy is rebounding, many families are still recovering from the financial hardships due the COVID-19 pandemic – and that gearing up for a new school year may put a strain on their finances.         

“Every year, the backpack and school supplies giveaway draw a significant turnout, which is very telling of the need for this type of assistance for many working families,” said John Baackes, L.A. Care CEO. “Fortunately, the Community Resource Centers are designed to do just that – to support the social needs of our communities. Health care should be more than just an ID card in your wallet.” 

As part of their ongoing efforts to address food insecurity, at a number of the back-to-school events, the Community Resource Centers will also give away free food for families to take home.    

“As so many are struggling to recover from the pandemic and as children get ready to return to classrooms, we wanted to ensure there are resources available in the communities where our resources centers are located,” said Kristen Cerf, President and CEO of Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan. “Through these back-to-school giveaways, we are continuing our efforts to be an active participant in our community resource centers communities. It brings me personal joy to invest in our youth and create opportunities to be the change we need at this moment to build healthy and vibrant communities.”

The L.A. Care and Blue Shield Promise Community Resource Centers offer a range of free classes, programs and services that aim to improve the health and well-being of intergenerational-family members, which includes addressing social needs. To learn more about the Community Resource Centers offerings, please visit activehealthyinformed.org

The following is a list of back-to-school events hosted by L.A. Care and Blue Shield Promise:


Friday, July 16 – Palmdale
*Includes food pantry

9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Palmdale High School Football Field Parking Lot - 2137 E Ave. R Palmdale, CA 93550


Saturday, July 17 – Pacoima

9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Mary Immaculate School - 10390 Remick Ave., Pacoima, CA 91331


Friday, July 23 – East Los Angeles

9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

East LA College Lot #3 – 1301 Avenida Cesar Chavez, Monterey Park, CA 91754


Saturday, July 24 – Boyle Heights
*Includes food pantry

9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

University of Southern California – 1701 Zonal Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90033

Friday, July 30 – Lynwood

9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Lynwood High School – 4050 E. Imperial Highway., Lynwood, CA 90262


Saturday, July 31 – Wilmington

*Includes food pantry

9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Banning High School – 1527 Lakme Ave., Wilmington, CA 90744 


Friday, Aug. 6 – Metro

*Includes food pantry

9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

LA City College Lot 1 - 4100 Marathon St., Los Angeles, CA 90029


Saturday, Aug. 7 – Pomona

9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Palomares Park - 499 E Arrow Hwy, Pomona, CA 91767


Saturday, Aug. 14 – Inglewood

9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

Los Angeles Southwest College Western Gate – Parking Lot 3 – 1600 W. Imperial Highway, Los Angeles, CA 90047


About L.A. Care Health Plan

L.A. Care Health Plan serves more than 2.3 million members in Los Angeles County, making it the largest publicly operated health plan in the country. L.A. Care offers four health coverage plans including Medi-Cal, L.A. Care Covered™, L.A. Care Cal MediConnect and the PASC-SEIU Homecare Workers Plan, all dedicated to being accountable and responsive to members. As a public entity, L.A. Care’s mission is to provide access to quality health care for L.A. County's vulnerable and low-income communities, and to support the safety net required to achieve that purpose. L.A. Care prioritizes quality, access and inclusion, elevating health care for all of L.A. County. For more information, visit lacare.org or follow us on TwitterFacebookLinkedIn, and Instagram.


About Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan

Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan is a managed care organization, wholly owned by Blue Shield of California, offering Medi-Cal and Cal MediConnect. It is led by healthcare professionals with a “members-first” philosophy and committed to building a quality network of providers and partnering with community organizations for more than 400,000 members. For more information about Blue Shield of California Promise Health Plan, please visit www.blueshieldca.com/promise. For more news about Blue Shield of California, please visit www.news.blueshieldca.com. Or follow us on LinkedInTwitter, or Facebook.

Media Contacts:

L.A. Care Health Plan

Penny Griego

(310) 613-8309



Blue Shield Promise Health Plan

Olga Gallardo

(323) 537-6364