As the school year draws near, parents often look forward to the structure, enrichment, and opportunity that it provides to their children. However, for many parents, it can be a time of difficulty as they have to find some way to purchase school supplies. Back-to-school shopping can be a setback on any family’s budget, but for financially strained families it becomes a choice between school supplies and other basic necessities such as food and utilities. Sometimes there simply is no money that can be used, and parents are forced to send their children to school with no supplies at all.
As we hear of local events that offer school supplies, we will post them here.
Where to Find Free School Supplies
Thankfully, there are options available for financially strained families. If you need free school supplies, here are some possible sources of help:
1) Search the NJ 2-1-1 Database
Our database includes a listing of limited resources for school supplies.
2) Ask your school, school district, school nurse and teacher
Some school districts are required to provide school supplies to students who can't afford them. Some schools are given donated supplies for students who need them. Some teachers are connected to retailers or non-profit agencies and can request free supplies for their students. In any case, help may be available to those who ask.
3) Ask your social service agency
If you receive assistance through your county social service office, a food pantry, a non-profit after-school program, a religious community, a service club, or any other kind of program that serves the community, they may have connections to school supply donation programs that can help you.