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The Rotary Club of New Orleans Announces School Supply Giveaway

11:00 July 08, 2021
By: Olivia Longoria

Since 2015, the Rotary Club of New Orleans has been dedicated to filling backpacks with school supplies for low-income elementary school children attending public schools in New Orleans. Supported by a small district grant provided by Rotary District 6840, this program provides 175 to 200 children with backpacks filled with school supplies before the start of the school year. For families living in poverty, the cost of school supplies each year is daunting, and prices are not getting lower. If earning a minimum wage, to purchase the total amount of school supplies required equals two days of labor.

Rotarian's work closely with community centers and shelters in the 2nd and 3rd district neighborhoods to ensure that distribution is successful, and children who need these supplies most receive them in time for the school year. The schools in the neighborhoods report about 90% of children qualifying for free or reduced lunch, indicating the poverty level. Over half are single parents who work low paying jobs.

Backpacks are picked up by members at club meetings, and then filled by Rotarians based on a master list with supplies that are common to most schools, such as pens and pencils, notebooks, and binders, and returned to the following club meeting. All backpacks being filled must be returned by July 28. Cash donations can be made to the club and will be used for purchasing backpacks and supplies. Donations will be accepted through August 4.

Donations can be made by credit card online at under "Backpack Project." Any companies interested in getting involved can contact Penny Menge at To fill each backpack will cost approximately $35 to $45. The item inventory is listed below:

One 1 inch - 3 Ring Binder

Two packs Wide-Rule Loose Leaf Paper

Three Notebooks or Composition Notebooks

One Pencil Pouch

One Storage Box

One 24 count pack #2 Pencils

One 12 count pack Colored Pencils

One 24 count pack Crayola Crayons

One 8 count pack Washable Markers

One 4 count pack ink pens

Four Paper Pocket Folders

One 3 count pack Glue Sticks

One bottle School Glue

One Pencil Sharpener

One 3 count pack Erasers

One pack Pencil Top Erasers

One pair Fiskar Safety Scissors

One travel bottle Hand Sanitizer

One 3 count pack Pocket Tissues

One pack Baby Wipes (Not Clorox wipes)

One Ruler

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