For many children, there is little or no “Back to School Shopping” because their families cannot afford to buy school supplies. With limited school budgets for supplies at some schools, teachers also find themselves running out of essentials such as copy paper during the middle of the year. The FoodBank’s Tools 4 Schools Resource Center at our Hillside location helps fill the supply gap for teachers and their students. Full-time, certified teachers from 212 schools in New Jersey are able to “shop” for free each semester at our Tools 4 Schools Resource Center. On an average weekday, 20 teachers come to our resource center for supplies including notebooks, binders, pens, pencils, felt-tip pens, copy paper, flash drives, glue sticks, art and craft materials, backpacks and much more!
We are grateful to our many donors who make it possible for us to provide teachers with much-needed resources for their school rooms. Many retailers, wholesalers, and a few non-profits have been donating supplies. In addition, employees of small businesses and many individuals carry out drives to collect important supplies for our resource center. We are grateful to children like 6-year-old Caden, who opted to skip birthday presents and instead asked his party guests for Staples gift cards so that we could re-stock our shelves. Major donors to Tools 4 Schools include Kids in Need Foundation, JoAnn Fabrics, Prudential Financial, Yoobi, Target, Staples, and Avery. They and others helped us provide school supplies worth more than $1 million dollars to schools in New Jersey last year.