10/04/2012 01:29 pm ET

Free Shoes In Downtown LA: Foot Locker Hands Out 5,000 Free Shoes In Skid Row (VIDEO)

Even items as basic as shoes can be a struggle for low-income families to afford.

Which is why Foot Locker is giving out 5,000 brand new pairs of athletic shoes Thursday at the Fred Jordan Mission in downtown Los Angeles, according to a press release from the mission.

About 4,000 wristbands for shoes were passed out on Wednesday, and families started lining up at dawn on Thursday, KTLA reports.

"Being a single mother, and not having the income to be able to provide for my children... I was like 'Oh, they're giving free shoes? Wow!'" said Monica Mesa."I remember when I was growing up, kids would make fun of you if you didn't have brand new shoes or nice shoes," she added.

As a part of its 24th annual back-to-school event, which runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Fred Jordan Mission will also be handing out clothes, school supplies and food.

The skid row area where the mission is located will also be transformed into a "hair salon," with free haircuts for the children donated by Paul Mitchell School volunteers, the press release says. Beloved burger chain In-N-Out will serve free burgers.
According to the mission, donations from individual donors have dropped by nearly 40% in the past year while demand has increased. The mission is in need of donations of food, clothing, blankets, toys, baby products or tax-deductible monetary donations here.

Just last week, more than 4,800 Angelenos in need received medical attention at Care Harbor's annual free health clinic at the LA Memorial Sports Arena. It is the largest single gathering of uninsured or underinsured people in the region.

More than 1.7 million Angelenos struggle with hunger, and one in five children in LA goes to bed hungry, according to the mission. For information on how to help, call 626-915-1981.