Back-to-school events held in Milwaukee to benefit families in need

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MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- Schools are getting ready to open for a brand new school year, and two big events held in Milwaukee on Saturday, August 10th helped families get started in their back-to-school shopping.

Getting all those school supplies can be challenging for families strapped for cash.

That's why the city of Milwaukee and Milwaukee-area businesses are teaming up to give out supplies for free.

Lots of people lined up to get free school supplies at the annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. back-to-school festival at King Park on Saturday.

5,000 backpacks were set aside for families in need. Some waited hours to ensure they would get a folder, notebook, pencil and crayons.

Litha Johnson was in line to pick up a backpack full of school supplies for her six children.

"That line is ridiculous, ridiculous. People been waiting, people been skipping, you have to think about that too," Johnson said.

Law enforcement officials had to break up a fight between some people that apparently began as a result of line cutting.

"I don't want to fight, don't want to argue over no book bags -- so I just let them do what they do," Johnson said.

Earlier at Miller Park, Milwaukee police held its back-to-school bash. Backpacks, clothing and food were all free for families.

Milwaukee police say this event is about building relationships with kids.

"Oftentimes when they see us, there's something bad going on in the neighborhood, so this is a great way for us to get out there engage the youth, walk around in our police uniform and help the kids out and just talk to them," a Milwaukee police officer said.

Johnson says she is just relieved to have her school shopping off to a good start.

"Some people, they can't afford the stuff, so I'm blessed for it," Johnson said.