RENO — Up to 350 additional disadvantaged students will return to school with supplies and clothing they need thanks to an expanded Operation Back to School program provided by The Salvation Army.
The program’s final distributions are scheduled for 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Thursday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Friday at The Salvation Army, 1931 Sutro St. in Reno. More than 150 students were assisted in late July and early August.
Each student will receive a new backpack of school supplies, new items of clothing (socks, underwear, etc.), a voucher to The Salvation Army thrift store for additional clothing, youth hygiene items, snacks for school and a gift certificate to a local store to purchase shoes.
Through a partnership with a number of local Title I elementary, middle and high schools, school counselors selected the students and provided lists of supplies needed. The back-to-school program served between 100 and 250 students in past years, but was expanded to 500 as a result of Washoe County’s continued poor economy and increased need.
“It’s a great partnership and we know we’re reaching the neediest kids,” said Major Janene Zielinski, Reno corps officer and program coordinator. “It brought tears to our eyes when a little boy at a previous distribution said the toothbrush he received from us was the first one of his very own. He had to share with other family members in the past.”
Supplies were donated to collection barrels at Meadowood Mall and other local businesses.