Each child will be given a backpack containing school supplies like pens and pencils, along with socks and underwear. Participants also receive a voucher for a free haircut at the International Institute of Cosmetology on Whiting Street, and a giftcard to purchase new school clothes.
While the event is usually held at the pantry on South Canal Street, this year the donations will be given out at an alternate town location due to extensive renovations.
The pantry facility will be undergoing several energy efficient improvements. The driveway, cited by Woertz as a safety hazard, will be repaired and new appliances will be installed in the facility.
The pantry was awarded a state grant last fall to renovate the 16-year old building.
Woertz said the community keeps the pantry running and it’s important that the building become more efficient to continue to serve people in need.
The pantry recently accepted an $11,500 donation from the annual Wings and Wheels event.
Scott Saunders, co-founder of Wings and Wheels, said the donation is continuously recycled back into the community.
“The entire donation stays local,” he said.
Woertz said though the pantry is busy all year round summer is when donations are lighter and there is more of a need.
“Everything else has gone up,” she said of living expenses. “We’re seeing more people than in years past.”
Around 80 volunteers contribute to the pantry while nearly 20 help out the day of the back to school event. Donations are still needed and can be dropped off at the pantry.
Applications are still being accepted for the program and can be accessed online or picked up at the facility.