SAN JOSE, Calif. (KCBS) _ Bay Area charities are struggling to meet the enormous demand for back-to-school backpacks this year.

Parents and kids lined up at Sacred Heart Community Service in San Jose on Tuesday, where volunteers passed out thousands of brand new backpacks for the upcoming school year.

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One young girl said she was very excited.

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“School supplies, pencils, scissors, glue and a new folder,” she said when asked what was going in her new backpack.

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Todd Madigan with Sacred Heart said getting students excited and ready for school goes a long way to breaking the cycle of poverty.

“If you look at those who don’t graduate high school, the poverty rates are at 22.2 percent,” said Madigan. “If they just graduate high school, that number drops down to 9.2 percent. So just this alone helps kids get off to the right start.”

Each donated backpack costs about $40. The nonprofit organization Family Giving Tree runs the backpack program and said their goal is to hand out 15,000 backpacks in August.

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For more information: Family Giving Tree