A supply drive to benefit low income students in Pinellas County begins Friday, the first of three events scheduled before schools reopen next month.
The kickoff for the "2014 Stuff the Bus Campaign" will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Fidelity Information Services, 11601 Roosevelt Blvd. N in St Petersburg.
Volunteers will be collecting pens, pencils, binders, crayons, folders, spiral and composition notebooks, gender-neutral backpacks and more.
The drive is sponsored by the Pinellas Education Foundation, the Pinellas County Council of PTAs, Pinellas County Schools and a number of local businesses.
According the organizers, about 11 percent of Pinellas families live at the poverty level and more than half of all students in Pinellas public schools qualify for subsidized lunches, an indicator of poverty. More than 2,100 students are homeless, they said.
Other upcoming drives are Aug. 1 at Largo Mall, 10500 Ulmerton Road in Largo, and Aug. 7 at Carillon Park, 300 Main Street in St. Petersburg. The Largo Mall event will be held from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and the Carillon Park event from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
In addition, supplies will be accepted now through July 31 at The Learning Experience of Palm Harbor, 34330 U.S. 19 N in Palm Harbor.