City of Binghamton, New York

City, CARES To Provide Free Backpacks, School Supplies To Hundreds Of Binghamton Students


Mayor Richard C. David on Wednesday announced the City will partner with the local nonprofit CARES to again provide free backpacks and school supplies to hundreds of City youth. 

“As students across the country prepare to navigate a new kind of learning experience this school year, many of their families are at the same time facing unprecedented financial challenges due to COVID-19,” said Mayor David. “By partnering with CARES to provide school supplies to hundreds of Binghamton students, we are reducing the financial burden back-to-school shopping puts on local families and giving students the tools they need to learn and succeed this school year.”

The Mayor’s Office and CARES (Community Advocates Restoring Educational Standards) will distribute 760 backpacks filled with school supplies to Binghamton families this month — the most since the backpack program began in 2017.

The backpacks will be available for pickup next week at seven summer meal sites around the City, as follows:

Tuesday, Aug. 25, from 10 a.m. to noon at the following sites:

Thursday, Aug. 27 from 10 a.m. to noon at the following sites: 

The filled backpacks will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis to City of Binghamton families with children in grades Pre-K through 12. Students must be present to receive a backpack.

“CARES’ commitment to helping historically marginalized and in-need families has never been greater, especially during this social crisis,” said Dr. Denise Yull, Chair of CARES. “We stand ready with assistance and support to provide some small relief for families by ensuring that basic school supplies do not create a financial burden, and that students are ready to start the school year prepared, supplied and engaged. Once again we thank the City of Binghamton and the Mayor’s Office for its annual financial support for this event.”

CARES is a grassroots organization committed to the empowerment of both students and parents in the Binghamton region. The nonprofit works directly with parents, students and teachers to develop healthy relationships, increase families’ involvement and improve the educational outcomes of children in the public education system.

This marks the fourth consecutive year the City has funded a backpack and school supply giveaway. More than 1,800 filled backpacks have been provided free of charge to Binghamton youth since the program started in 2017.  

Nearly half of all children in Binghamton live in poverty, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. 

This year, the City is providing $7,400 to fund the backpack and school supply program. The funds are a combination of the General Fund’s youth programming budget and federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds. 

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