Twin Cities Salvation Army seeing greater need for school supplies due to inflation

When it comes to buying school supplies, the cost can add up. And when you factor in inflation, for some families the high prices can be a lot to bare. For decades, the Twin Cities Salvation Army has worked to relieve some of that pressure and this year, organizers are working to fill a big need.

Inside a warehouse at the Northern division of the Salvation Army in Roseville, a collection of school supplies is beginning to stack up. 

"You know people have been really generous in the midst of all of this," says Major Scott Shelbourn. 

Weeks ahead of the start of the new school year, Shelbourn says the need has never been greater. "Inflation has hit everywhere, it’s at a 40-year high, and so us helping a family with some school supplies is helping them free up dollars to be able to spend on the other things to supply the basic needs for their families," he added. 

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From high gas prices to the rising price of food, it all comes down to dollars and cents, and many families are feeling the pinch.

"Just the other day when we were giving out free produce at one of our locations, we had over 700 people show up, just for that day to get that free produce. So we’re seeing a great need hit all of the salvation army locations throughout the Twin Cities and really throughout Minnesota," said Shelbourn.

The Salvation Army's back-to-school drive has already impacted more than 2,500 children. "Kids are getting markers, they’re getting colored pencils, they’re getting Kleenex boxes of course a backpack, rulers, compasses, bottles of glue, anything that the local schools are saying the kids need, that’s what we’re trying to provide," says Shelbourn. 

The collection drive runs through Friday, but donations are always welcome. 

"Kids have so many reasons to be anxious today. Coming out of the pandemic, are they going to wear a mask this week at school or not? What’s going on with my family? This is one less thing that kids have to worry about. If they’re well stocked with school supplies, then that’s one worry that we’re taking away from their life," says Shelbourn.

Donations can be dropped off at any Xfinity store by Comcast location through Friday. Monetary gifts are always welcome. The Salvation Army is distributing school supplies at all seven of its Twin Cities service centers. For more information, click here.