• Need a Backpack and Back-to-School Supplies? We’ve Got Your Back!

    The first step to a successful school year is having the right supplies. Nutley Family Service Bureau (NFSB) is partnering with the Nutley Education Foundation (NEF) to make sure students are prepared to learn from day one with our annual “We’ve Got Your Back” backpack drive!

    The NEF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established in 2003 to provide funding to support educational endeavors in the Nutley School District.

    Together, NFSB and the NEF are asking supporters to donate new backpacks, school supplies, and gift cards. These items will then be distributed to clients of The Pantry who are eligible for free and reduced lunches in the Nutley Public School system. Names of all students and families who receive back-to-school items will be kept confidential.

    The most requested school supplies include:

    • Three-subject notebooks
    • Pocket folders
    • Dry erase markers
    • Tissue packets
    • Small hand sanitizers
    New backpacks and school supplies can be dropped off in marked bins on the front porch at NFSB, 169 Chestnut Street in Nutley. Monetary donations are also being accepted through the NEF website. All donations are tax deductible!

    Families, community, groups, local businesses, and large corporations are encouraged to participate. The deadline for donations is August 26th and all backpacks, supplies, and gift cards will be distributed on August 29th and 31st

    “Our clients at The Pantry are aware of the program and look forward to it because they could really use the help,” said Joan Roake, Assistant Pantry Manager at NFSB. “Each eligible child who attends school in Nutley will receive an age-appropriate backpack and either school supplies or a gift card to purchase supplies.”

    Since the pandemic, the need for assistance to purchase backpacks and school supplies has steadily increased each year. Given the impact of inflation on prices, costs have spiked and many families are struggling to keep up.

    “It’s a huge relief for parents because they can get their kids the backpacks and supplies they need and stretch their resources,” Joan said. “Maybe they can get a new pair of sneakers or a jacket that they might not have been able to afford without this program. The NEF works hard to identify people who need help and make sure they collect the right backpacks and supplies for different age groups. They do a wonderful job.”

    If you have questions about the “We’ve Got Your Back” program, as well as food distributions and services offered by The Pantry at NFSB to fight food insecurity, please contact Joan at 973-667-1884 extension 2 or visit The Pantry at 169 Chestnut Street. You can also visit the NFSB website for more information.

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