From backpacks and notebooks to pens and pencils, families these days have a lot to purchase before the first day of school. Those costs that can add up quickly and for the less fortunate, be unaffordable. As our Bill Mich tells us, one local organization is doing their best to ensure kids have what they need to succeed in the classroom.
CORNING, N.Y. -- The goal of the program is to reach out to as many families in need as possible.
"Each year, we serve somewhere between 300 and 400. And this year, because that we know the economy is still struggling, people in the economy are still struggling, we are geared up for 525," said Capt. John Merchant of the Corning Salvation Army.
Thursday, the Corning Salvation Army wasn't serving up food, but school supplies. It was the annual backpack distribution the organization holds to ensure kids are ready for class on the first day of school. But kids Thursday weren't going home with just an empty bag.
"They get pens, pencil, colored pencils, crayons, rulers. Anything they would need that would be basic," said Merchant.
School supplies for boy and girls of all ages. From kindergarten to senior year in high school. Buying all of these supplies year after year is not cheap for anyone, but for families struggling financially, it can be a burden they simply can't afford. Salvation Army officials say this community has been good to them over the years, and this is one of their ways to give back to those who need it the most.
"We see a lot of working families that are really now struggling and you can see that the middle class that we used to have is really not middle class anymore. They're struggling as well. So, we wanted to make sure that we would be able to take care of their needs," Merchant said.
It's impossible to reach every single person who may need a new book bag or set of colored pencils, but there are at least a few hundred more kids who will be better prepared in the classroom.