Where to get free school supplies around Tampa Bay

Thousands of children in Tampa Bay can get backpacks and more before classes start.
People receive one of 30,000 free backpacks filled with school supplies at the Bullard Foundation Back to School Bash at Raymond James Stadium in 2021. The event will take place on Aug. 6 this year starting at 9 a.m.
People receive one of 30,000 free backpacks filled with school supplies at the Bullard Foundation Back to School Bash at Raymond James Stadium in 2021. The event will take place on Aug. 6 this year starting at 9 a.m. [ ARIELLE BADER | Times ]
Published July 27, 2022|Updated July 30, 2022

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With inflation rising and school starting in less than two weeks, every dollar saved on school supplies is a benefit.

Multiple Florida companies and nonprofit organizations are providing them for free around Tampa Bay.

Here’s where to find events — and free school supplies:

St. Petersburg

Junior League of St. Petersburg Back to School Care Fair: Physical and medical screenings are available as well as backpacks filled with school supplies. 8 a.m. to noon Saturday at Evara Health at Johnnie Ruth Clarke, 1344 22nd Street S., St. Petersburg.

Backpacks at the Tropicana: Saturday Morning Shoppe and Live Love St. Pete are giving away 2,000 backpacks full of school supplies from 12 to 5 p.m. Aug. 6 at Tropicana Field, 1 Tropicana Drive, St. Petersburg. Learn more at and


2022 Back to School Bash: Students from kindergarten through 12th grades can attend to receive a backpack full of school supplies, a physical exam and meal — all free — from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday. Event is at 7454 Palm River Road, Tampa. 813-628-9179.

Future Billionaire Back 2 School Bash: Free eye exams and eyewear for children ages 5 to 17. The first 100 kids completing the scavenger hunt get a free backpack filled with school supplies. Adults in need of employment can get help applying for local job openings. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. The Resource Empowerment Centre, 9309 N. Florida Ave., Tampa. 727-755-8112.

Backpacks at the Raymond James: Bullard Family Foundation will celebrate the 5th Annual Back to School Bash presented by AdventHealth and Skanska at Raymond James Stadium, 4201 N. Mabry Hwy., Tampa, at 9 a.m. Aug. 6.

Get a free backpack filled with school supplies and take advantage of free medical, dental and vision services, as well as complimentary haircuts, food and entertainment. Families must register for medical, dental and eye care services. To sign up, visit

Families may also register for backpacks here:

Related: 14 events to help Tampa Bay students and parents for the next school year

Back-to-School Bash: Celebration Church in Tampa will hold a Back-to-School Bash complete with bounce houses, haircuts, games and raffles as well as free backpacks for the first 200 students. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Celebration Church, 16235 Lake Magdalene Blvd., Tampa (813) 961-0910.

Ayr’Reka’s Angels Back to School Bash: Students can spruce up to return to class with free haircuts and braiding, HIV testing, health screenings, notary services, school supplies and a blood drive. From noon-5 p.m. Aug. 6. at 6503 N. 15th St., Tampa. 813-454-5374.

Around Tampa Bay

Back to School Open House and Expo: Families can visit local exhibitors providing information about school resources such as before/after school activities, health, wellness, safety and more. Kids will enjoy hands-on activities and games. The first 200 school-age children will receive a free backpack and school supplies. 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday. MLK Jr. Recreation Center, 550 Laura Lane, Dunedin. 727-738-2920.

The Florida Penguin Back to School Extravaganza: Free backpacks and school supplies in Pinellas, Hillsborough and Pasco counties. The event includes 250 backpacks sponsored by Florida Penguin Productions at each location. Children can enjoy face painting and other activities.

  • Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Countryside Mall, 27001 U.S. Hwy. 19 N, Clearwater
  • Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Westfield Brandon Mall, 459 Brandon Town Center Drive, Brandon
  • Aug. 7 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tampa Premium Outlets, 2300 Grand Cypress Drive, Lutz

Staff writer Kelly S. Stefani contributed to this report.