Finch said there are 1,000 backpacks ready to go along with the various school supplies. The firefighters raise money year-round to buy school supplies and backpacks for children Meriden in grades Pre-K through eighth. The event, previously held at City Park, is sponsored by local non-profits, radio stations, city officials and volunteers.
The event has grown every year. Last year, Finch told the Record-Journal that “every year we hope to add something that directly helps the community.”
Several local organizations, such the the Council of Neighborhoods and Meriden YMCA, set up tents at the expo to hand out information and show parents and children what the community has to offer. Two radio stations, Radio 104.1 and Bomba 97.1, were on hand last year as well.
Last year, Ryan Gilhuly, a firefighter, said the Back to School Expo is “the primary way we give back to the citizens that we serve.”