HOUSTON -

school expo 2 Hundreds of families lined up inside of PlazAmericas in southwest Houston to attend the city's 5th annual back-to-school drive for students who will head to classrooms in HISD.

About 7,000 students were expect to pick up a backpack, as the event elevated some of the financial burden for parents and gave kids the confidence they need to start the school off right.

Olga Flores said her daughter, who is starting out Pre-K, received some of the key items she needs, including crayons, a notebook and pencils.

"It is a very good help for all of the families," said Flores. "I think it's excellent."

"We allow the schools to pick the students and normally it's the students who are on the free lunch program," said Sylvia Rodriguez.

While serve team members from the Heights 429 Church were handed out school supplies and uniforms, lunch was also provided by the Houston Parks and Recreation Department. There was free produce, and dental and medical check ups.

school expo 3 "It really helps and it's a big relief," said Rodriguez. "The children were really excited to receive their backpack and to put it on their backs, and we can tell they are so happy."

If there were any items left over, they will all be donated to other students in need in HISD.

The mayor was also at the school drive to speak to the kids. This is the city's response to the "No Child Left Behind" initiative.