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Back to School 2022

Back to School Program

St. Francis Food Pantries and Shelters serves underserved individuals and families in the New York area through a network of more than 40 pantries, shelters, soup kitchens and drop-in-centers. In addition to food, we provide new clothing, toiletries, diapers, home essentials and social service programs.

Poverty is a vicious cycle and systems in place do not always favor those struggling to pull themselves out. Individuals and families who never thought they would need assistance are now visiting food pantries due to the rising costs of gas, rent, medicine, food, and other basic necessities.

Families living at and below poverty level experience high levels of stress due to limited income. St. Francis Food Pantries and Shelters provides families with social services programs to help alleviate anxieties. The Back to School Program helps their children feel a sense of normalcy during the back-to-school season.

For most children, starting school is an exciting time of year. It symbolizes a fresh start with new classrooms, new teachers, new classmates, purchasing new school supplies, clothes, and sneakers. Parents struggling financially are challenged with providing basic necessities therefore purchasing new back to school items are not possible.

Succeeding in school helps children to break the cycle of poverty. The right tools help children prepare for achievement. Children who do not have notebooks, pencils, crayons, or other tools for school are impacted academically. Having a full complete set of school supplies plays a role in higher rates of homework completion, class participation, confidence, and graduation rates.

This year our Back to School Program includes a Back-to-School Kick Off Party with warm meals, backpacks filled with new school supplies, field day games, arts & crafts, and party decorations. Providing the Back to School Program in a party atmosphere for children experiencing food insecurity gives them the opportunity to escape from the stresses of poverty for a few hours and celebrate the new school year. Your support for this program makes a difference to the children and their parents we serve.

For additional information on how to support the Back to School Program please contact Nikki Margarites, Director of Development at or 212-279-6171.