The 2022 NOLA Back 2 School Fest presented by Shell will provide 4,000 students in grades K-6 with free backpacks filled with essential school supplies. The giveaway will be held   Saturday, July 30 from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m. at the Xavier University Center, 4980 Dixon St, New Orleans, on Xavier’s south campus.

The sixth annual NOLA Back 2 School Fest presented by Shell is hosted in partnership Xavier University of Louisiana and the Greater New Orleans STEM Initiative (GNO STEM).

Students from throughout the Greater New Orleans area are eligible to receive the free backpacks and school supplies, however, students must be pre-registered in advance at Parents and caregivers will pick up their child’s backpacks and supplies in a drive through distribution alongside the Xavier University Center. Parents/caregivers using public transportation or arriving by foot can pick up backpacks at the entrance of the St. Joseph Center located directly across Broadway Street from the Xavier University Center.

“The NOLA Back 2 School Backpack Giveaway is a powerful message to our children that this community supports them and believes in them. Through the giveaway, we make it possible for them to return to the classroom equipped with the tools they need to succeed,” said Reynold Verret, president of Xavier University of Louisiana. “Having your own school supplies brings a sense of readiness and confidence for the school year. Educational equity, including access to supplies, is fundamental.”

“This is all about getting kids in our community set up for success in the classroom,” said Celeste Jefferson, maintenance and construction manager at Shell Norco. “Our volunteers pack care and compassion into those backpacks along with the supplies.”

In addition to the backpacks and supplies, parents/caregivers will receive a bag filled with helpful information to connect them with vital community resources and providers that offer direct assistance.

“When students are prepared with supplies, we also support teachers,” said Jennifer LaCoste, executive director of the Greater New Orleans STEM Initiative (GNO STEM). “Teachers often spend their own money to purchase supplies so their students can succeed. The backpack and school supplies provided by Shell help students and teachers get off to a strong start!”

To register to participate and to learn more, visit or email

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