ALEXANDRIA, Va., Aug. 2, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The back-to-school season can place a tremendous burden on families experiencing lost wages and looming evictions emerging from the pandemic. Nearly one in five American children are living in poverty, and with parents forced to choose between school supplies or food on the table, millions of kids are returning to class less prepared than their peers.
From August 6-8, The Salvation Army and Walmart are joining forces for a nationwide school supply drive to help give students from less advantaged families an equal chance to excel.
"Showing up to school empty handed is like trying to work an office job without a computer, phone, or paper," said Commissioner Kenneth Hodder, National Commander of The Salvation Army. "The American Dream is based on the belief that everyone shares the same level of opportunity regardless of where they're born or their family background. By equipping kids with essential school supplies we hope to make that shared opportunity a reality, making a difference in the achievement of young children now and into adulthood."
The Salvation Army's "Stuff the Bus" program will take place at participating Walmart stores across the country. Members of the public who choose to purchase items can drop them off in specially marked Salvation Army collection bins at the front of each store or search their local Salvation Army's Registry for Good to donate online.
Supplies will be distributed for free to children and youth of all ages within the communities they are given.
"Ensuring kids have essential resources sends a message that students, especially those from low-income and underserved communities, need to hear every day: You matter. We have high expectations for you. You can do it," said Commissioner Hodder.
Walmart and The Salvation Army have partnered for more than 30 years to help meet the needs of local communities. In 2020 and amidst the pandemic, the partnership distributed more than 125,000 supplies to children in need across the country.
The Salvation Army continues to evolve its services to provide low-income families with academic assistance and supplies, enrichment activities and food. In addition, The Salvation Army provided more than 225 million meals, 9.6 million nights of shelter, and emotional and spiritual support to more than 902,000 people in the first year of the pandemic.
For more information about The Salvation Army's programs and services, or to volunteer locally, visit www.salvationarmyusa.org.
About The Salvation ArmyThe Salvation Army annually helps more than 30 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need, The Salvation Army is doing the most good at 7,600 centers of operations around the country. In the first-ever listing of "America's Favorite Charities" by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Salvation Army ranked as the country's largest privately funded, direct-service nonprofit. For more information, visit SalvationArmyUSA.org. Follow us on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS and #DoingTheMostGood
SOURCE The Salvation Army