Where to Get Free School Supplies

alt="Back to School Supplies"

Free school supplies help low-income families start the year prepared to study. If you need free back-to-school supplies or uniforms, the Salvation Army is a part of the effort to help low-income families get ready for school.  Therefore, the Salvation Army will supply backpacks for kids and school uniforms.

Back to school time is one of the most favorite times of the year for many parents.  After Summer is over and the kids finally return to their daily studies.  Free school items give children some of the tools they need to succeed in school.

It can be stressful for families that can not afford to buy school supplies for their kids.   Some people don’t understand how many families need help with school supplies.  That long list of school supplies parents need to buy for school starts to get expensive.  I, too, remember struggling with this issue as a parent.  If you have two or more children, it can really be expensive, along with buying new shoes and school clothes.

Here is a list of the Best Places to Get Free Back to School Supplies

There are several churches and community organizations, and charities in the United States that help needy families get children ready for the school year.  Below is a list of places to go for free school supplies for students.

Salvation Army

Every year beginning in July, the Salvation Army helps low-income children with free school supplies.  Children go on a shopping spree for their school supplies.   This is done through a gift card to be used only for this purpose.  Please check with your local Salvation Army to determine if this back-to-sch00l program is offered in your area.  Not all programs and services are offered at every location.

Local Churches

Many local churches donate school items to kids every year.  If you attend a church, find out if they have a school drive.  If not, suggest they begin one.   Churches of all denominations and sizes give school supplies to the community’s children.  You can also call around, starting with larger and local denominational congregations. Churches

Kids in Need Foundation

The Kids in Need Foundation works with schools across the country that have a high enrollment of children living below the poverty level.  Parents can not get school supplies personally but speak to their child’s teacher.  This organization allows teachers to obtain a variety of back-to-school supplies to give to their students. This eliminates the need for the students’ families to purchase these supplies.

School bags loaded with supplies are available for schools where most students qualify for the free discounted lunch program.  Teachers in qualified schools will be notified of the day and time you can go to the warehouse to pick up items for your kids.

Operation Homefront

Helps military families with multiple resources like help with rent, medical, etc.  Their Back to School Brigade helps children of military families with back-to-school supplies.  Each year they hand out thousands of backpacks filled with supplies, donating millions of dollars worth of supplies.  For seven years, Dollar Tree has sponsored the program.  They work directly with the program and help to set up and collect from their 5,000 stores nationwide. For more information, go here.

Community Charities

Every community has local charities like the Salvation Army. Many communities in the country have local organizations that operate programs designed to help prepare students for school by purchasing their school supplies.  If you need supplies for your child, you should contact your local school or your local United Way to see what programs are available in your area.  Church assistance programs.


Many churches have school supply drives each fall, not only for members but for needy families in the community.  Two months before school starts, begin calling the churches in your area or call 2-1-1 for more information about free school drives.


If you live in a low-income community, your child’s school teachers are probably eligible for the kids in need program.  If you know who your child’s teacher, reach out to her to let her know you need school supplies.

To find free back to school supplies in your city go here and enter your city and words, “free school suppplies.

Best Places to Get Cheap School Supplies

If anything is missing from your kid’s supply list, there are few places to get cheap items for school.  Family Dollar is located in most communities nationwide.

Dollar Tree  – The best thing about Dollar Tree is unlike Family Dollar, everything is exactly $1!  They have pens, pencils, crayons, notebooks, binders, paper storage, and organization tools—all you need for the first day of school.

Wal-Mart – This store is well known for its sales and affordable items for the entire family.  Back to school specials are always available.  Look for flyers in the Sunday news or on their website.

Target – These community stores have great specials on a wide variety of items.  (Also, check out how to get assistance for Christmas and free toys.)

You May Also Want To Read

National School Breakfast & Lunch for Children

57 thoughts on “Where to Get Free School Supplies

  1. I’m in Cicero il and my salvation army doesn’t help for free school supplies I need help I have 3 kids going back and I have nothing please someone help

    1. Hello, Nell. Please go back to the article and contact some of the other organization that helps with school supplies. Also, try Catholic Charites and other churches.

  2. Thank you !this information will help me a great deal .not having the money to provide your kids with there basic is very difficult im so greatful for people who are willing to help

    1. Hello, Mayra. Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. Our site features many programs that help mothers. Please continue to follow us for updates! Blessings!

  3. Hello I’m a single mother in Orange County CA I’m going through cancer issues and have nobody to help me with school supplies.It breaks my heart i can’t give them the backpacks they deserve and desperately want.I wish with open heart i was healthy to work and be a better me for us.I have a 11th grader son that has AP classes and first grade daughter that does speech and other special classes.They are amazing children that love to learn. My son helps me so much when I don’t feel good He deserves the world.
    They have Amazon wish list with the backpacks they really want .. i’m going to post it right here and I hope it’s OK . If anyone has this style backpack that you have just laying around that used that’s fine also. Have a blessed day.
    Hi. Check out this list: https://www.amazon.com/gp/registry/wishlist/X2MT4167IO73

  4. In need of help getting school supplys for both children middle and high school students thank you very much

  5. Hi , I am writing because I am.single homeless mother of an 8 year old boy and 13 year old daughter looking for assistance for school and more. I recently lost my job, other belongings to a hotel fire and now my storage has been aunctioned off. We have nothing left and I need some resources please. If you could please suggest me in the right direction it would ne greatly appreciated. Thanks

  6. really i do appreciated the greats efforts that salvation army is blaied to help a vulnerable children whom are really in need to be support . i am Teacher youhana , a refugee teacher from south sudan , now in sudan ,, we come out with a humanity initiative to open a school for south sudanese refugees children in sudan – khartoum , the school start last june 2017 and now we are in the end of the academic year ,, the school is hosted around 200 pupils from class 1 to class 7 , the chalenges that facing the school now for next academic year is in term of school uniform , we hop salvation can do something on that to support these vulnerable children whom are from poor families of south sudanese refugees in sudan – God bless you

  7. hi I have 7 kids and Im having trouble buying school supplies this year can you help me ….

  8. Helloo my name is melinda i have 4 children who i need gelp with scool supplies is their any way i can get help

  9. hi,I would like some help for my two kids..I am a single mom with out job and child support.

    1. Hello, Crystal. Please do a local church search and call around to see which ministries have a clothing drive or clothes closet. Also, ask the Salvation Army and Catholic Charities for help. If you qualify they may give you a voucher to one of their local stores.

  10. I’m a Single parent with nine children and I just need some help this year been out of work since December and times get hard and I soul really appreciate any help that i may receive my children are 16,13,12,11,8,7,6,5 and 3

    1. Hello, Cassandra. You did not mention why type of help you need. Please do a search on this site to find help for rent, utilities, food, etc.

  11. Hi my name is Christina Sue Padilla and I need help with school supplies,
    if this is the right program for me I really appreciate it if you can email me thank you.

  12. Looking for help with school supplies back pack hair cute and sneakers for school

  13. Called my local Salvation Army about help with school supplies they told me they do not help with school supplies!!

    1. Hi, Nikki! The Salvation Army does help with school supplies. http://blog.salvationarmyusa.org/nhqblog/news/2014-08-04-back-to-school-supplies-how-to-give-or-receive. Find out what organization they coordinate within your community. Also, please contact your child’s school and the other organizations on the list.

  14. Hi I am Kathleen, located in Sacramento area. Reason for having to ask a question on here is that.. I am a struggling single mom of two … monthly income is barely enough to cover all bills in day today life. Sadly that school for my son will be starting soon and I am so torn that as a mother I can’t even afford at least a back pack for sons first school or clothing or a pair if new shoe. Please understand my current living situation and no bad comments about how sad of a motherhood I have please .. I feel bad enough.. I will be grateful if anyone may have or know places where I may go to in sacramento. Thanks

    1. Hello, Kathleen. Try calling your child’s school to find out if they were given extra supplies to help low-income students. Don’t forget to apply for the Free School Lunch Program.

  15. Hello,

    I need help with back to school supplies for my 6 yr old 1st grade granddaughter and 7 yr old 2nd grade grandson. School started for them today an they still do not have school supplies. Their mother was working but had a financial setback when her and her husband recently separated. She is too embarrassed to request help so I’m doing it on her behalf.

    Can you please help? I can be reached at 704-241-0056.

    Thanks in advance,

    S. Gabriel

    1. Hello, Sonza. It is too late for many of the programs listed here but call your children’s school to see if there is still help available. If you child’s school is in a low-income area, supplies are often provided for those schools.

  16. Hello i live in emporia virginia.. I have 3 children 16,11,7… I need help with school supplies and clothes.. Am a single mother and am doing my best…i work but its not enough for the money i make.. Need help with my light bill also….

  17. I didn’t know these programs exist. I’m sure glad I stumble upon this site as I had to scrunge to get school supplies for the kids. Am also looking for assistance with a few of my bills heating and internet bill.

  18. Hey my name is Kimberly and I am a single mother or 2. I have a little boy who and in the 7th and he is 12yrs old and a little girl that is 8 yrs old and in the 3rd grade…. we have no school supplies or clothes to start school in. If there is anyone out there with a big enough heart to help us it would be greatly appreciated please help us… 9103031456

    1. Hi, Pimberly. Please contact the agencies in the article Free Back to School Supplies, for help. Also help your child’s school as many supplies are given to schools in low-income areas for distribution to the children.

  19. My kids need uniforms for school iam new to the area and cnt afford it at this time

  20. Yes it will help alot i have four kids that go to school and i really need the help.

  21. My family and I just moved to Pennsylvania from Texas and we are starting all over again .we do not have the money for school supplies or clothes as we are just now getting our own place in a couple weeks

    1. Desi, I hope you get the help you need. You can also contact your child’s school and let them know you need help with school supplied. The school may be able to help also.

  22. I’m a mom on SSI I have a third grader I have no transportation and need help with shoes clothes n supplies can anyone help us

    1. Hello, Fonda. I understand that the Salvation Army help with clothes and school supplies. Also call you child’s school and tell them you need help with supplies.

  23. Hi I’m a single mom of 3 kids I work part time and attend college part time. I was wondering if me and my children could revive help getting school supplies and maybe help with school clothes. My oldest daughter Atheena is going into 6th grade and needs uniforms and my middle daughter Hailey is going into 4th grade and my little man Seth is going into 1st grade. I appreciate your time reading this.

  24. Hello I am looking for help for My Grandson to receive school supplies and Uniform. He is going to K. Him and his mother just moved out and I can use your help. I live in Far Rockaway Queens NY

  25. I have no job no income and I have three kids but two of them are starting school on August 2, 20016 and I have no money to buy them clothes, shoes, supply for school so am asking for help please!…. Thank you

    1. Hello, Valerie. I know how expensive it is getting children ready for school. You did not say what state you live in, so I will suggest you contact the larger denominational church in your town like, the Catholic Church, Synagogues, Major Baptist churches. Also, contact United Way for suggestions for your area.

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