If the information is accurate as recently reported by local Channel 6 in Lawrence, KS, more than 40% of children in the city’s public schools are eligible for free or reduced lunches. Add that to ConAgra Foods Foundation corporate initiative, Feed America, that found 22.6% of children in Kansas to be food insecure (hungry or in danger of being so). These are very scary statistics.
The Kansas State Department of Education further cites that of the 11,835 students in Lawrence in 2012-13, 22.55% qualified for free enrollment, and 6.67% for reduced enrollment fees. Channel 6 also reported that the average family will spend more than $630 for back to school expenses, including new clothing.
With these staggering costs and the apparent need, this is a prime opportunity for good deeds. Just read the ads for Target (/www.target.com/) ; WalMart (www.walmart.com/); K-Mart (www.kmart.com/); office, grocery and drug stories; and even department stores where a plethora of bargains can be found.
If you are buying for your own children or grandchildren, or just browsing for some inexpensive office supply items consider doing the following:
- Pick up an extra package of glue sticks, crayons, markers, folders, pencils, pens, spiral notebooks, or file folders, etc. (many of the aforementioned stores currently have great dollar deals)
- Buy a 3-pack of Kleenex
- Purchase an extra pair of underwear or socks for young children
- Purchase a pair of children’s shoes
- Purchase a fun and sturdy backpack
Many churches and organizations collect money and supplies to provide the necessary back to school items for those who cannot afford them. If you know a teacher, ask him or her if they would like the extra items to have on hand. You can even consider contacting your local school district about donating items or contributing to funds for students needing to ride the bus or in need of activity fees.
Remember, as with all things you do not need to do everything. All it takes to make a difference is to just do something.