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story.lead_photo.caption 2018 FILE: Church members hand out 552 backpacks full of school supplies to community members who were served on a first-come first-serve basis. Photo by Mark Wilson / News Tribune.

Local churches have teamed up to offer free backpacks containing school supplies from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. today at Memorial Baptist Church, 1120 Madison St. in Jefferson City.

One in Christ Baptist Church's Bishop James A. Howard Jr. said One in Christ, Memorial Baptist, Concord Baptist Church, Second Baptist Church and Church of God in Christ have all collected school supplies for the event.

Howard added that Scholastic Inc., Unilever and the Sigma Gamma Rho sorority have also helped.

One in Christ bought all of the about 300 backpacks, Howard said, and what each backpack will have inside in the way of school supplies depends on the age of the child receiving it.

"We try to give them the basics to start school," he said.

Of the 13 years he's been pastor, Howard thought this year was the sixth or seventh backpack giveaway.

"I think it should be a community thing, instead of one church," he said of the importance of getting multiple churches working together.

"I believe it's all our jobs to help out the children" in the community, he said.

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