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Some parents facing affordability challenges with increased school supply prices


With the first day of classes looming, some parents shopping for school supplies are facing affodability challenges with higher priced essentials.

The Salvation Army backpack program provides bags filled with supplies for those who can’t afford to buy their own. This year, there’s a combination of factors that have increased demand.

 “It is unprecedented. I know last year we had significant phone calls, but this year has even gone beyond that,” Salvation Army Temple Lt. Derek Kerr said. 

All the donations to the Salvation Army program is provided by donors. The group typically aims to give out 1,500 backpacks.

“We could’ve probably doubled that,” Kerr said.

Kerr is attributing up the increased need to what they’re hearing from recipients.

“The cost of school supplies, like everything else, has increased significantly over the past year,” he said.

School supplies shoppers tended to agree.

“Some things (have) similar (costs) and some items seems more expensive for sure,” Lindsay Kelleher said as she shopped for her two children. 

Kelleher spent over $100 on just one bag of supplies. She found glue sticks to be quite expensive compared to other years and with children in Grade 1 and Grade 4, those are essentials on the list.

The pandemic is also playing a part, according to other shoppers noting the return to a regular in-person schedule of classes and a lack of restrictions for the first school year since 2019.

At the Salvation Army, staff were prepping for distribution next week and looking ahead to next year with increased demand.

“So hopefully next year we’ll be able to increase that number and help more children,” Kerr said. 

The first day of classes for Saskatoon Public Schools and Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools is Sept. 1. Top Stories

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