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Wood Co. Department of Job and Family Services helps families with back to school supplies

Wood Co. Job and Family Services is helping families struggling financially from the pandemic with its 5th annual K-12 Fitted for Success school supplies drive.

WOOD COUNTY, Ohio — School is right around the corner, which means it's time for back to school shopping.

But that may be a bit difficult to do this year for families hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic. The Wood County Department of Job and Family Services is once again offering its K-12 Fitted for Success Program for families in need.

"We're seeing a lot of families struggling right now," JFS supervisor Shannon Fisher said.

Some kids are headed back to the classroom and some are staying home. But kids still need school supplies. 

"The program provides backpacks filled with school supplies for children going into grades K through 12," Fisher said. "We also provide vouchers so parents can purchase brand new shoes, socks, hats and gloves for kids."

This year's drive will also include coats for the winter for kids. Fisher is encouraging families to apply now, even if they don't know their school's reopening plan yet. They've spoken with teachers and districts and no matter how the year looks, kids will still need the basic supplies.

"We are going to see families coming to us who have never come to us for help before," Fisher added, "and we are here to assist to get those school supplies and winter items out for kids."

ABC Center School Supplies in west Toledo is preparing for the busy tax holiday and they're selling items they never thought they would, like posters with instructions to help students learn proper hand-washing.

"Biggest thing is just the teachers trying to get through how to wash hands, how to social distance," ABC Center owner Sue Reeves said. "We even have a poster on different ways to say hello."

Reeves said parents and teachers are still coming in numbers to pick up supplies. Even if they don't know their school's reopening plan, the supplies will still be needed at some point.

"I do believe at some point they are going to go back to school and those supplies are going to be needed," she said, "so why not take advantage of the tax free weekend and have your child willing to go."

The tax free holiday this year is August 7th to the 9th. 

If you live in Wood County and would like to apply for the Fitted for Success Program, click the post below.