The United Way hosted its 11th Stuff the Bus fundraiser at the St. Joseph Walmarts on the North and South Belt highways.

The fundraiser collects school supplies for kids who wouldn’t otherwise have them.

The event was from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday and will continue today at the same time at both Walmart locations.

United Way partners with Mosaic, Walmart and local businesses to bring in thousands of supplies.

Once the supplies are collected, they are taken to the Salvation Army for a backpack giveaway. Volunteers pack the supplies in backpacks for the event on Aug. 8. Kids from first grade through high school can participate in the giveaway.

United Way Program Director Jay Martin said over 300 volunteers help with the entire process.

“A lot of the area businesses chip in and send out workers to help,” Martin said. “I think every high school this year is going to send out a team to help as well.”

United Way also is accepting monetary donations and gift cards for extra supplies.

“The whole community is really getting involved with this, and it’s a great feeling to be collecting these supplies for the kiddos,” Martin said.

Martin said they’re expecting to have the Central football team and Benton cross-country team in attendance to help as well.

“We have a very diverse group of people, young and old, to help collect these supplies,” Martin said.

Anyone looking to donate supplies after the fundraiser can go to the United Way or Salvation Army located in St. Joseph.

Bailey Ketcham can be reached