DILLSBURG, Pa. (WHTM)- Parents with children in school are spending a record amount when it comes to back-to-school shopping this year. Those required items for the classroom can add up for families already struggling with other expenses.
New Hope Ministries has been working for the past few months to collect brand bookbags and school supplies for families for free.
“It gives us an opportunity to take one less expense away from us,” said Keeley, a mother of four. “I am a single mom and we have a fixed income so this is really a blessing for us to be able to have a community resource that is able to help with the expenses of going back to school.”
The National Retail Federation expects back-to-school shopping to reach $41.5 billion this year, about $4.7 billion more than last year. On average, families are expected to spend around $890.
“We know that inflation is certainly top of mind for consumers,” Vice President of Industry and Consumer Insights at the National Retail Federation Katherine Cullen said.
New Hope Ministries has served 30% more families in the past year.
“They feel stretched in every direction,” Executive Director of New Hope Ministries Eric Saunders said. “The cost of gas is high, the cost of rent is high, the cost of food is high, and the paycheck just doesn’t stretch far enough.”
New Hope Ministries expects to provide more than 1,000 kids with back-to-school items before the school year begins.