OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — Back to school means back-to-school shopping, but this year costs of school supplies are up. The National Retail Federation (NRF) reports families with children in elementary through high school will spend an average of about $849 on school supplies, including uniforms, shoes and electronics.
The NRF said total back-to-school spending is expected to reach $37.1 billion.
"I always think for a lot of families we serve is that anxiety as school comes up, the shopping list comes out the shopping list of what’s required and for some families that's not feasible at the moment. We’re dealing with a pandemic, coming off job loss, we’re dealing with losing electricity, having to figure out how to replenish some lost food during that time," Lacey Locklear, Chief Development Officer of Completely Kids, said.
Some school districts in the metro area, like Omaha Public Schools (OPS) provide school supplies and have a separate suggested list of supplies parents can buy.
Mentor Nebraska, Share Omaha and First National Bank of Omaha have partnered for Banking on School Supplies, a community drive that collects school supplies to distribute to organizations that work with kids like Completely Kids, Boys and Girls Club, Girls INC., 100 Black Men of Omaha and more.
"I think that everyone wants to see kids succeed and part of that is being prepared for school. So with the effects of the pandemic and the storms that ripped through Omaha in the past few weeks, we want to make sure kids are not worried about not having supplies they need to start the school year off," Melissa Mayo, Executive Director of Mentor Nebraska said.
Locklear said feeling prepared for school sets kids up for success.
"I think, even as adults, we know what it feels like when you don’t feel prepared. If you’re heading into a school day when you have a brand new teacher who doesn’t know you, you’re trying to be impressive to your friends and all that and you walk up and your teacher says get out that notebook and you don’t have it, it’s uncomfortable and it’s a situation that some of our kids are in. By having the backpacks fully stocked, they don’t have to experience that...they’re ready to take on the day and get to learning without any barrier," Locklear said.
You can donate to Banking on School supplies by dropping off supplies to Completely Kids by August 10th or by donating on the shareOMAHA'S website.
There will also be a school supply giveaway by Heartland Family Services on Saturday, August 15, at the HFS Central Administration Office, located at 2101 S. 42nd Street.
Salem Baptist Church will also be holding a school supply giveaway on Saturday, August 7 at 10 a.m. in their parking lot.