Low-income families have trouble paying for school supplies
Back to school season can be a stressful time for struggling families who have minimal disposable income to pay for new clothes, shoes, and school supplies. Studies show that ill-equipped students have poorer attendance rates and a higher likelihood of dropping out. Many teachers dip into their limited classroom supply funds to help struggling students, or they may even pay out of pocket.
Solution: food bank stocks school supplies, distributes them to local teachers
The Houston Food Bank partnered with Kids in Need Foundation to start a Teachers Aid program. Area schools where 70% of the students are on reduced-price lunches, that also participate in the BackPack Program, can now receive donations of school supplies for students in need. Throughout the school year, teachers receive points that they can use to buy supplies on a quarterly basis. Area residents can donate new school supplies to the center, and the center also receives contributions from local retail partners.
Limitations: Since supplies are only given every three months, a teacher may discover a need well before they are able to meet it. Teachers can use their points to stock up on popular supplies. In addition, since distributions are made on Saturdays, a teacher must arrive after hours to receive the order.
- Houston Food Bank | School Supplies: Tools for learning
- Fact Sheet | How the program works
- Fact Sheet | Most needed items
- Share this idea with your local food bank
- Live in the Houston area? Help your local school by contributing to the Teacher’s Aid Program.