(NewsUSA) - Going back to school, whether online, in-person, or a combination, is a yearly expense that can be especially challenging for military families.
In 2019, families in the United States spent approximately $700 per child on school supplies for the school year, according to the National Retail Federation. The combination of backpacks, clothes, notebooks, and lunchboxes adds up, and many schools also ask parents to contribute as much as $100 per family to help cover the costs of classroom materials. Many military families find themselves hard-pressed to purchase school supplies on top of other child-care costs and household needs.
Operation Homefront, a national nonprofit organization that has been supporting strong, stable military families since 2002, has taken on the challenge of getting military kids classroom-ready through its annual Back-to-School Brigade program, established in 2008.
This year, Hunt Heroes Foundation (HHF), a nonprofit organization founded by Hunt Military Communities (HMC), the nation's largest military housing owner, has announced its support of Operation Homefront and its Back-to-School Brigade. HHF will be delivering 1,850 backpacks filled with school supplies to HMC communities in the continental United States in advance of the 2020 school year.
"Operation Homefront is proud that Hunt Military Communities is helping bring our Back-to-School Brigade program to military families in their communities," says Robin Miller, senior director of Operation Homefront.
"With their support, we are able to distribute backpacks filled with school supplies to those who have given so much on behalf of all Americans and ensure that their children have the tools for a successful start to the school year," Ms. Miller emphasizes.
The event aims to ease some of the financial burdens of back-to-school costs for military families, and the backpacks are tailored to all ages and grade levels.
"We are honored to partner with Operation Homefront on an initiative that will support military families during this uniquely challenging back-to-school season," says John Ehle, president of Hunt Military Communities.
"It is our goal to make the process as seamless as possible for parents, and make sure that their children are prepared to start the new school year, whether virtually or in-person."
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year's Back-to-School Brigade will be adjusted to adhere to federal, state, and local COVID-19 guidelines with features such as a drive-through format.