'We carve out what we can': Omaha church bears burden of high inflation during back-to-school efforts

The Salem Baptist Church has had to pay more for backpacks and school supplies they're giving away.
Posted at 6:57 PM, Aug 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-03 20:30:37-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — At Salem Baptist Church, 500 filled backpacks sit waiting to be given to those in need, for free.

It's part of the church’s back-to-school giveaway set for this weekend. Head pastor, Selwyn Bachus said it will be a big help to families in need, especially now.

“We know how difficult things are for families this time of the year and especially in the climate that we’re living in,” Bachus said.

High inflation is leaving an impact on everyone, including the very organizations trying to soften the blow for families in need. Bachus said his church is providing more backpacks for the community — but at a cost.

“We were giving out 200 more (backpacks) this year than we gave out last year and we really had to dig deep and make a sacrifice.”

It’s a sacrifice that’s worth it for OPS teacher Kyle Francis-Thomas, who said it’s important that kids start the school year off right, no matter their financial status.

“We want to make sure the kids are ready,” Francis-Thomas said. “We don’t want them to come to school nervous and feeling as though they’re lacking something.”

Bachus agreed and said he wants to help his community no matter how much it may impact the church.

“We carve out what we can in our budget to do these kinds of efforts,” Bachus said.

Salem Baptist Church will give away 500 bookbags at its location on 31st and Lake Streets this Saturday starting at 10 a.m. The event will go on until supply runs out.

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