Edmonton-area families in need received much-needed help before the first day of school.
On Sunday, local anti-poverty activist Dan Johnstone, also known as Can Man Dan, hosted the seventh annual Back to School campaign.
Hundreds of people lined for hours at the event to pick up food hampers, backpacks filled with school supplies and even receive haircuts for the start of the school year.
“This is an event for the community by the community,” Johnstone said. “Everything you see here has been donated by somebody, somewhere.”
Tammy LaRose is a mother of five who attended the event with her family, along with three nieces and nephews.
Organizers said the event grows every year.
“Seeing the lineups, it’s kind of a bittersweet thing because I don’t want these people to be in the position they’re in, but also I’m glad we’re here to assist them,” Johnstone said.
“Obviously, these people need help and I’m glad we can be here to give them a little bit of support to better themselves.”
The help is much appreciated for parents like Larose.
“I’m so grateful for them to put this on.”
The event also served as an unveiling of the Can Man Dan Foundation. Johstone said the foundation will make a little easier for him to do what he loves.
“This is going to give me a better way to help build up my community, my city and it’s really exciting,” Johnstone said.
“Everybody likes something that’s a like official and now we can say that we’re official.”
WATCH (Aug. 19, 2019): “We’re Here For Ya Day” collects back-to-school supplies