On Sunday, Families Feeding Families of Iowa held its annual Back to School Rally, where more than 300 fully stocked backpacks were handed out. Volunteer Sandy Merritt told KCRG-TV, as an teacher and principal for a combined 43 years, she’s seen, firsthand, the challenges many kids face.
“I saw the difficulties many kids in foster care go through and waiting for foster care. A lot of times they don’t have the things they need to start school,” Merritt said. The back to school drive gives out backpacks stocked with pencils, folders, and notebooks. Families Helping Families of Iowa Vice President Amy Jellison said while 300 kids were served on Sunday, the goal is to help at least 100 more before the school year begins.
“We focus on children that have been abused or neglected and removed from their homes,” Jellison told KCRG. Families Helping Families receives donations all year from businesses, churches, and individuals. Last year, the organization helped about 3,000 kids. This year, the group projects to help about 4,000. While at the back to school drive, kids also received a free haircut, a new pair of shoes and clothes.