Back-to-school preparations got a boost for southeastern Michigan families, thanks Charter One Foundation and Gleaners Community Food Bank.
The Gear for Grades event took place Tuesday at Rising Star Academy in Center Line. Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel and Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham helped Charter One volunteers hand out 200 backpacks filled with school supplies to families in need. Gleaners’ mobile pantry supplied 100 families with approximately 40 pounds of fresh produce and non-perishable food items, according to organizers.
“With the rising cost of school supplies, the Gear for Grades program helps to ease the financial strain parents face this time of year as they prepare to send their children back to school,” Ken Marblestone, President of Charter One, Michigan and Ohio, said in a prepared statement.
The average American family spent $603 in 2012 for back-to-school merchandise, according to a National Retail Federation survey.
In total, the Gear for Grades program states it has given more than 253,000 children from low-income families with school supplies.