COLLEGE STATION, Texas — It's back-to-school season in the Brazos Valley and some may not be as excited to go out and break the bank to buy supplies due to inflation.
The Bridge Ministries Food Pantry is one of many helping with distribution efforts.
“This is the 4th year that The Bridge Ministries have done a school supplies giveaway done in the month of August which is a part of our normal food distribution," said Mike Arnold, board member of The Bridge Ministries.
Arnold said The Bridge Ministries is expected to be giving out hundreds of school supplies along with food at the upcoming drives throughout August.
“This month we have 522 with notebooks, papers, pencils binders – we do this so they can go back to school happy and start off school right because everyone deserves an education,” said Arnold.
According to the National Retail Federation, Americans are expected to spend $37 billion dollars on back-to-school with some top list items being electronics, clothing, and shoes.
One Brazos Valley mother with a family of 4 said she wants her children to have the best without breaking the bank.
“Everyone wants their children to go back to school looking really nice, you also struggle with the lines and the wait for places as much as it is and with back-to-school time everything becomes so flooded," said Amber Evans, a College Station mother.
Evans said despite school supplies being added to a list of bills this summer, she is making the best of it for her children to go back with what they need.
“We’re still in the middle of a pandemic, things are still kind of wonky in the world, and school supplies come at a time where bills are higher and food bills are out of this world – I am a mother of 4=four sons, my refrigerator is always crying," said Evans.
Here are some Brazos Valley organizations having school supply drives at no cost
- The Boys & Girls Club of the Brazos Valley is hosting a Back-to-School supply giveaway on Saturday, Aug. 6 from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Boys & Girls Club located at 1910 Beck St. in Bryan. There will be free food, free backpacks, and music by DJ Pat. Children must be present to pick up supplies from this event.
- The Anointed Abilities “Back-to-School Bash” is happening on Monday, Aug. 15 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. at Bright Light Church in College Station. This event will feature free backpacks and school supplies, haircuts and braiding, food, games, gift cards, and skincare items.
On Aug. 4, 11, 18, and 25, The Bridge Ministries Food Pantry is distributing drawstring backpacks filled with notebooks, folders, pencils, and miscellaneous other supplies. Every child in K-12 will receive one backpack. You can visit The Bridge Ministries Food Pantry located at 408 E. 24th St. in Bryan from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on these dates.
All parents need to bring a form of I.D., along with the school supplies, families will also receive 70 pounds of nutritious food and hygiene products – this is a requirement in order to receive the free school supplies.
- The Back-to-School Bash is happening from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 14 at Fannin Elementary School in Bryan. Free services available include haircuts, COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters, a public notary, food, and school supplies. They will also be offering low-cost sports physicals, along with resources for other services in the community.