SAN JOSE (KCBS) – With the new school year just around the corner, dozens of San Jose parents camped out overnight outside a community center hoping for free school backpacks for their children.

“I’ve been here since three in the morning,” one woman said Friday as she stood outside with other parents at Sacred Heart Community Service Center. They were waiting to sign her kids up for free backpacks, school supplies and gift cards for new shoes – luxury items, the parents said, they simply cannot afford.

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“We have our apartment, everything, we’re able to do that but we can’t have those luxuries. Extra things, we can’t go out shopping or things like that because everything’s super tight right now.”

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KCBS’ Matt Bigler Reports:

Come August, Sacred Heart hopes to give away at least 2,300 backpacks to families on the wait list currently being generated. The Catholic charity said it wants low-income kids to have the tools they need to start the upcoming school year off on the right foot.

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