'Fill-A-Backpack' program provides school supplies for thousands of Marathon County kids

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WESTON, Wis. (WSAW) The 'Fill-A-Backpack-Fill-A-Need' program in Marathon County is providing 100-percent of school supplies to more than 3,800 kids across several school districts this year.

Sponsored by the Workplace Volunteer Council, the program has donated more than 62,000 full backpacks of supplies to Marathon County families since it began 20 years ago.

More than $29,000 was spent on school supplies this year according to 'Fill-A-Backpack-Fill-A-Need' chairperson Kristina Barbier. Barbier says the program wouldn't be possible without help from the community.

"We function through donations, sponsorships, and grants. It's a year-round effort because the need is so great," said Barbier.

Backpacks filled with new school supplies are given to eligible children who qualify by participating in free or reduced lunch programs.

D.C. Everest District schools are taking the mission a step further by trimming down school supply list requirements and standardizing the lists across all district schools. So even if a student transfers, the needs will be the same.

"We really feel that by equipping all of our students with all the same school supplies with the same equitable access, we are fulfilling that mission to make D.C. Everest a better place to work and learn," said D.C. Everest Assistant Superintendent Mary Jo Lechner.

All backpacks and basic supplies will be available to pick-up at your child's school beginning August 20 between the hours of 8 a.m. -3 p.m. They will also be available during the students open house.