The Merrill community is rallying to make sure kids get the school supplies they need this fall.
The Backpacks For Kids program is up and running, and specific supplies are being collected around the community.
More kids than ever qualify, totallying nearly 600 K-5 students this year.
When the program began in 2007, 280 backpacks filled with supplies were distributed.
"These are for kids who their families are struggling with these hard economic times and so they need a little bit of help... so this is just one way we can help the kids in our community to be able to have the supplies they need to come into school and be ready to learn," said Amanda Kostman, who's coordinating this year's drive.
The community can buy supplies and drop them off at the UW-Extension office or Wal-Mart.
Kids who qualify for the backpack program also qualify for free lunch at school according to federal guidelines.
Backpacks of all sizes (new only)
Crayons (24 count)
Colored pencils (24count)
Pens (red, black, and blue)
Markers (12 count, washable)
White school glue and glue sticks
Scissors (blunt and pointed tip)
2 pocket folders
Wide-lined spiral notebooks
Financial contributions can also be made to MFTHCI - Backpacks for Kids, mailed to PO Box 793 Merrill, WI 54452
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