Rising costs and inflation leave many families relying on back-to-school supply drives

The organizations say holding back-to-school drives is essential to providing each student the tools needed for a successful school year.
Published: Jul. 22, 2022 at 6:45 PM HST
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HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - With back-to-school season around the corner, many organizations are in the community donating school supplies and backpacks.

Palama Settlement partnered with Helping Hands Hawaii to distribute 300 bags of school supplies to students in Kalihi.

“For some people school supplies might not mean much, but to these families to give them some of this much needed basic school supplies is very important,” said executive director of Palama Settlement, Sam Aiona.

“School supplies we were told are gonna run up to $120 per child and that’s ridiculous, even if we can give them $30 worth of school supplies that helps a lot.”

Many families need to budget for rising costs — looking for supply drives each year.

“We do it every year because they give it to us due to money is short and everything else and so it helps us a lot with that,” said parent Joseph Garcia.

“I understand it’s not exactly free but all donated and it’s helping us in a way and other people and other families in poverty.”

At King David Kalakaua Middle School, Nomi Health passed out brand-new school supplies to students registering for classes.

“We wanted to get everyone first day ready, regardless of cost of what it was going to be,” said Mark Newman, founder and CEO of Nomi Health.

While students picked up new backpacks, After-School All-Stars signed up middle schoolers for its free after school program, serving more than 2,300 students across the state.

“Our data indicates that kids who take part in our afterschool programs do better academically, they attend better, and they have better behaviors,” said Paula Fitzell, president and CEO of After-School All-Stars.

The organizations say holding back-to-school drives is essential to providing each student the tools needed for a successful school year.

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