Backpacks and school supply drive begins

The annual drive for backpacks and school supplies has begun for 2023-2024. School supplies most needed this year are new large-size backpacks, Clorox or Lysol disinfectant wipes, 1” binders with front pocket, chisel tip dry erase markers, Kleenex, thin- and wide-tip washable markers, 3×3” post it notes, and black fine and ultra fine Sharpie markers. Used items cannot be accepted for this project.
Donations can dropped off at Incredible Bank and Walgreens in Merrill now through Friday, Aug. 11, 2023.
Distribution is set for Saturday, Aug. 12, from 9-10:30 a.m. in the Prairie River Middle School cafeteria (Door 14). Eligible families will receive more information in the mail and via email. Students will be able to select their backpack and a few other items like pencil cases. Basic supplies like pencils, Kleenex, etc., will be pre-packaged for quick pick-up.
Fifty-five percent of students in grades K-6 qualify for free backpacks and supplies under federal guidelines for free and reduced lunch. Locally, that translates to 460 Merrill families with a total of 520 eligible children.
Tax-deductible donations are accepted year round and can be mailed to: MFTHCI-Backpacks, PO Box 793, Merrill WI 54452.
The project is sponsored by: Merrill Forward Together Healthy Community Initiative (MFTHCI), Children’s Wisconsin, and the Optimists.
For more information, call Jana at 715. 539.5441 or Linda Becker at 715.218.1806.

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