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Back to school giveaway brings Hartford residents out for backpacks and vaccines

With the bell about to ring on a new year, 800 families came out for free food and backpacks stuffed with essentials.

HARTFORD, Conn — On Tuesday, families in Hartford flocked to the edge of Keney Park to help get their kids ready for a new school year. A sense of community was alive and well in Hartford’s Edgewood neighborhood for the back-to-school giveaway. 

"I’m most excited about learning," said Hartford student Haley Rain.

With the bell about to ring on a new year, 800 families came out for free food and backpacks stuffed with essentials. Stepping up to help in the effort was Price Rite and Feed the Children. They had two tractor-trailers filled with $250,000 worth of food.

The giveaway was also an opportunity for the Charter Oak Health Center to get more people vaccinated. The Moderna and newly FDA-approved Pfizer vaccines were available. 

"So now that we have full FDA approval on the Pfizer vaccine I’m hoping more people will decide to get vaccinated," said Nichelle Mullins, the President & CEO of Charter Oak Health Center.

People like Donna Thompson-Daniel told us she had some initial concerns. 

"I thought about what happened in the past to African Americans when they are being pushed to take a shot," she said. She explained what convinced her. "It was my research, plus a person convincing me. And then the fact that if I take it I can travel."

Many of the young kids at the event were too young to get a COVID vaccine. A Hartford grandmother of 24 told FOX61 districts should be looking into other safety measures. 

"My kids are too small to be vaccinated so what I did was invest in an air filter system," said Lori Perry-Williams of Hartford. "The social distance is working. The mask is working, but why not have another layer of protection."

Stopping by to address the crowd was Gov. Ned Lamont. 

He said, "To all you guys who are actually doing the work I want to say we will remember it. And the kids will remember it and you are making a difference in their lives."




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