MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The cost of back-to-school shopping can be a large burden on families.

This year, some local companies are teaming up to help those in need get free school supplies. The Twin Cities Salvation Army and Morrie’s Automotive donated nearly 5,000 backpacks to local families in need on Wednesday.

Bins were filled to the top with a variety of backpacks for kids to choose from. The kids had fun stuffing their new backpacks with free school supplies.

The organizers of the event hope it will help alleviate some stress on families who are struggling financially.

“We know that not only is it important that we provide opportunity for education, but without the essential tools, children struggle. Parents have stress because they cannot afford to buy the materials needed for their children,” Col. Lonneal Richardson with the Salvation Army said.

According to the 2017 Huntington Backpack index, the cost of school supplies has significantly risen in the past decade. Families who have an elementary student are now paying 88 percent more in supplies.

With a $25,000 check from Morrie’s Automotive, the Salvation Army will continue to help local families in need going forward.

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