Operation Back to School will provide school supplies and clothing to children from low-income families

Heading back to the classroom this fall will be a little easier for 3,000 area children thanks to Operation Back to School, a new initiative from the South Central Community Action Program.

Operation Back to School will provide $100 worth of back to school supplies to children in kindergarten through 12th grade in Brown, Monroe, Morgan and Owen counties. To be eligible to participate, children must be from families with income at 200 percent or below the federal poverty line.

The income limits for eligible families at 200 percent or below the poverty line are based on size of the family unit: 2 family members – $29,140; 3 – $36,620; 4 – $44,100; 5 – $51,580; 6 – $59,060; 7 – $66,540; and 8 – $74,020.

Among the eligible children, those who receive the free supplies and clothing will be selected through a random drawing on July 26. The 3,000 children who will receive this assistance represent less than a third of those who are income-eligible in SCCAP’s four-county service area.

“Parents from families who may be struggling economically want their children to have required supplies and appropriate clothes to go back to school, just like anyone else,” SCCAP Executive Director Todd Lare said. “In this difficult economy, we are pleased that we’ll be able to assist many of these families through Operation Back to School.”

To register their children for the Operation Back to School drawing, families must fill out an application at one of SCCAP’s four county offices by 4:30 p.m. on July 23. No late applications will be accepted.

Before submitting applications for their children, parents and guardians must document that their household income is at 200 percent or below the federal poverty line. If they did not already document their income through participating in SCCAP’s Energy Assistance Program this winter, they must present income documentation for the past 12 months, as well as social security cards, for all household members 18 and older.

Families whose children are picked through the random drawing to participate in Operation Back to School will receive information about shopping dates and participating stores.

The $300,000 that will be spent to help children and families through Operation Back to School will come from stimulus funds provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

For additional information, the public should call:

Monroe Co. – 339-3447,  Morgan Co. – 342-1518,  Owen Co. – 829-2279, Brown Co. – 988-6636

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