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Parker Street’s backpack program launches amid back-to-school inflation concerns – Halifax

It might be the canine days of summer season, however back-to-school is heavy on the thoughts of these at Parker Street Meals and Furnishings Financial institution in Halifax.

The non-profit has launched their backpack program aimed toward offering a crucial faculty carry-all full with faculty provides to as many low- and fixed-income college students as potential.

“The primary day of college, having a brand new backpack, new provides, new crayons, it provides them a lift,” stated Dr. Denise Daley, govt director of Parker Road Meals and Furnishings Financial institution. “A motivational increase to say, ‘hey, I’m able to study.’”

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Final yr, Parker Road offered backpacks and faculty provides to about 940 college students — a document excessive. With inflation and the cost-of-living rising, they’re anticipating that quantity to be greater than 1,000 this yr.

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“We see everybody coming again, at all times for his or her subsequent appointment, at all times reserving instantly,” stated Sonah Leahey, Parker Road’s director of shopper companies. “It means they know they gained’t be capable to catch up and they’ll want our companies many times.”

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Amid the rising value, governments have stepped in to help. Again in June, the Prince Edward Island authorities dedicated $790,000 to supply free faculty provides to all college students from kindergarten to Grade 9 through the 2022-23 faculty yr.

The funding is predicted to help about 15,900 youngsters in public faculties throughout the province.

There’s no such dedication coming from the Nova Scotia authorities, however the province’s training minister says they’re nonetheless doing their half to lighten the monetary burden.

“The areas even have about $4 million, so final yr they spent about $4 million to supply faculty provides, and they also’re prepared and ready once more this yr,” stated Nova Scotia Schooling Minister Becky Druhan.

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“I wish to guarantee all Nova Scotians, households and college students, that any scholar who wants assist at school provides or some other approach, they’ll get that assist.”

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The parents at Parker Road say whether or not they’re granted extra funding or not, they’ll proceed doing no matter they will to assist.

“Having a correct backpack and the entire correct provides undoubtedly goes a great distance in serving to the children succeed,” stated Leahey.

Parker Road says they’ll be accepting donations till round mid-August. The totally stocked backpacks will then be handed out to college students on the Halifax Discussion board earlier than the college yr begins.

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