This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)— The fifth annual NOLA Back to School Fest presented by Shell will be providing 4,000 students with free backpacks filled with essential school supplies.

On Saturday, July 31 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. parents and caregivers who have pre-registered students at can pick up their child’s backpack.

Backpacks will be given away at the Xavier University Center located on the corner of Dixon and Broadway streets on Xavier’s south campus at a drive-through distribution.

Parents and or caregivers who arrive on foot, or by bicycle can pick up the backpacks at the entrance of the Katharine Drexel Residence Hall located on Broadway near the corner of Dixon Street.

“The upcoming school year is especially important for school-aged children who have faced numerous challenges and disruptions both at home and in school because of the pandemic,” said Steve Oprea, External Relations Advisor with Shell Exploration & Production. “It is critical for students to start the new school year with the school supplies they need from “day one.” If preparation is a key to success, we think that by providing students with necessary tools for learning, we can help set them up for success,” he added.

Students must pre-register in advance

Caregivers and students who are not fully vaccinated are encouraged to wear a face-covering or mask when picking up backpacks.

Volunteers will wear masks when placing backpacks into the trunks of participants’ cars. 

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. 

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