There’s no denying it now – it’s back to school time! Whether you have little ones in your life or you’re still in school, there’s an iconic measure to these days. Part excitement for new beginnings, part sadness at the close of summer, this special transition time is filled with meaning. But for many kids, back to school can also be a time of worry.
For families at the edge of poverty, the added expense of school supplies can be too great a burden to meet. Even for just one kid, the costs can quickly add up. In fact, according to one study, the national average for back to school spending is $501 per child!1 For the estimated 20% of kids living in poverty2 , the fact that so much attention is placed on back to school buying can be a constant reminder of what they lack: adequate financial support to afford the school supplies necessary for a successful education.
Stonyfield knows that education is crucial to getting ahead in life, so when one of our employees came to our Mission team with an idea to support kids, we jumped on it.
We teamed up with Youth Villages’ Backpack Heroes program. As Youth Villages says, ‘Every child deserves a chance to be whatever they want to be when they grow up, but they can’t do that without a great education…A new backpack full of school supplies truly can have a profound impact on a child’s learning experience.’
Feeling like you have the school supplies needed to be ready to learn really can make all the difference; I know it from first-hand experience.
Growing up we weren’t rich, so my family knew how to “make things stretch.” Still, we were fortunate at this time of year. After purchasing new school uniforms, my parents would also take us to the stationary store – my favorite! – where we’d fan the pages of the new notebooks, breathing in the smell of freshly cut paper. All of those supplies we went home with somehow stood for the possibility ahead: the compositions I would write, the stories I’d learn, the friendships I would forge. That feeling, that sense of doors opening is something I’m so proud of Stonyfield for contributing to – and one that I hope you’ll consider getting involved in too.
Our team donated backpacks, pens, paper and a load of other supplies to families in need so that their children can return to school this year focused on what’s more important: learning. And the best part is, you can participate by simply following the link below to find a program in your state or region and joining us as Backpack Heroes!
Happy back to school to families everywhere!