WN charities offer back-to-school help

GBF food bank coordinator Dean Foster and executive director Stacy Elia posing next to the GBF bus can only mean one thing: it is back-to-school season once again. The Benevolent Fund is one of the community service organizations that will be helping struggling families in West Niagara prepare for a new school year. Marks – Photo

By Tristan Marks

It’s easy to take back-to-school shopping for granted, but some households will struggle with the expenses.

Local community support groups are here to help. The Grimsby Benevolent Fund (GBF), Lincoln’s Community Care of West Niagara (CCWN), Village of Hope (VoH) in Vineland and West Lincoln Community Care (WLCC) in Smithville are each offering back-to-school programs to help struggling families.

GBF will be giving out backpacks filled with school supplies on Aug. 18 to 20, although it will accept applicants right up until the first day of school in September.

Community members looking to help out can make monetary donations to help GBF cover costs.

CCWN in Lincoln will be handing out back-to-school supplies from Aug. 24 to 28. As part of COVID safety, registered families have 30-minute intervals to themselves to receive the care packages outside of the CCWN building in downtown Beamsville.

Families unable to make one of these dates can call to arrange a special time.

In addition to backpacks, students can pick out new shoes thanks to the return of the Snack ‘n’ Sneakers program supported by Canadian Tire. CCWN will also give each student a free, reusable face mask, provided by commUNITY, a non-medical face mask producer based in Toronto.

VoH will distribute school and snack supplies starting Aug. 20. Students will also get a chromebook laptop for the entire school year.

WLCC will distribute supplies to West Lincoln residents from Aug. 25 to 27. Each child registered with WLCC, born between 2003-2016, will receive a backpack with school supplies and a lunch bag.

This year will also mark the first time WLCC will team up with Canadian Tire to offer the Snacks ‘n’ Sneakers program to West Lincoln kids.

To contact GBF call 905-309-5664 or visit gbfgrimsby.com. CCWN can be contacted by calling 905-563-5822 or visiting communitycarewn.ca. Register for VoH by calling 905-562-3003 or visit thevillageofhope.ca. To register with WLCC, call 905-957-5882 or visit westlincolncc.com.

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