Youth across the country are preparing to head back to school this month. But many of those young people will head back without the necessary tools and supplies needed to enjoy the school learning experience.
On Sunday, the (RFPD) hosted its first in the parking lot of the , to help ensure some area students will be ready next week when school resumes.
The event was open to residents within the district, which includes parts of Hazelwood, Bridgeton and unincorporated St. Louis County.
Hazelwood resident Marie Fingers arrived early with her two children.
"I think it's great that they're doing this," she said.
Attendees were treated to free food and supplies, which were distributed by members of the RFPD, including Capt. Theo Brown.
"We're definitely ready for a huge crowd," Brown said at the start of the event. "We're always looking for ways to give back to the community—anything to make a difference in these young kids' lives."
In addition to the food and school supplies, there was also free face painting available, and attendees had the opportunity to see various RFPD vehicles on display, including a fire truck and scene support bus.
Planning for the barbecue and supply giveaway began in January after the RFPD's public relations committee came up with the idea to have a back-to-school event.
"It's important to show young people that firemen support education," said RFPD Fire Marshal Charlie Braband. "We also have reading programs with elementary school kids."
Next on the RFPD calendar are two family movie nights, on Sept. 30 and Oct. 28. The movies will begin at 7:30 p.m. at located at 12641 Missouri Bottom Rd.