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Family Fest will provide school supplies

Families feeling the pinch of back-to-school expenses can get a helping hand, free food and fun activities at the Ashland Community Resource Center’s Family Fest from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 10, at the First United Methodist Church, 175 North Main St., Ashland.

Volunteers will hand out backpacks containing school supplies. Haircuts, vision and hearing screenings, immunizations and other school year necessities will be supplied without cost at the event co-sponsored by the Ashland Emergency Food Bank, Rogue Community Health, Ashland First United Methodist Church and the Maslow Project. Well-child exams will be provided for free, and sports physicals are being offered for $10. Free tacos and fresh vegetables will be available. The Ashland Emergency Food Bank will be open, and a cooking display will be presented.

Many of the event’s sponsors will have booths with information on other family resources and Oregon Health Plan representatives will be available to take applications. While parents focus on the practical, children can enjoy face painting, Legos and games. There will be a limited number gift certificates given away for gasoline and food.

“This is great event by the community and for the community,” said Leigh Madsen, executive director of the Ashland Community Resource Center. “Both individuals and organizations have donated to this festival, which we have tried to design for children of all ages. Back-to-school should be a time of excitement, not concern.”

This is the fifth Family Fest provided through ACRC, which is operated by Options for Helping Residents of Ashland. ACRC was opened in 2014 to give homeless and low-income residents of Ashland opportunities to improve their situations. A two-year $100,000 grant from the city of Ashland in late 2013 helped make its operation possible. The center is currently funded largely by individual donors, the city of Ashland and a number of foundations.

For more information, call the ACRC at 541-631-2235.

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