Nearly 3,500 backpacks were distributed in San Mateo over the weekend to local students from preschool to college.

The backpack distribution, held Saturday at the San Mateo County Event Center, was presented by Samaritan House, an organization dedicated to fighting poverty in San Mateo County.

Area residents have been reaching out to Samaritan House for the last three months to sign up for the donated backpacks and school supplies.

Nearly 60 volunteers from various community groups handed out the school supplies at Saturday’s event.

“As the price of gas, groceries and other essentials go up each week — we are seeing continued elevated demand for our services,” said Samaritan House CEO Bart Charlow. “Our client families have been fighting economic hardship since before the pandemic. We’re also seeing new clients each week as the economy falters and basic necessities become out of reach for more people. That’s why we are thrilled to provide all the supplies kids will need to thrive in school and take that economic burden off their families’ shoulders.”