Local partnership offers free backpacks to Prince Rupert’s underprivileged students

The Salvation Army, Rotary Club, Northern Savings Credit Union and Bargain Store will be giving away 300 backpacks on August 23 and 24.

Captain Gary Sheils of the Prince Rupert Salvation Army holds up one of the many backpacks that were given away last year.

Captain Gary Sheils of the Prince Rupert Salvation Army holds up one of the many backpacks that were given away last year.

Back-to-school time often is filled with worries for Prince Rupert’s underprivileged families on how they will be able to afford all the necessary school supplies for the coming school year.

A local partnership between the Salvation Army, Prince Rupert Rotary Club, Northern Savings Credit Union and the Bargain Store hopes to end some of these worries for local families by offering the annual backpack program, a service that hands out 300 free backpacks to students in need.

“[Children need backpacks] to carry their school supplies and lunches. [The program] also gives parents who don’t have a lot of money a helping hand,” explained Captain Gary Sheils of the Prince Rupert Salvation Army.

The program has been in place for six years now, and Captain Sheils says that it has been well used on a yearly basis.

This year, distribution days will be on Thursday, August 23 and Friday, August 24 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the Salvation Army church. Captain Sheils says that the backpacks generally go very quickly, and there aren’t usually any left over after distribution days.