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Backpack drives are back on Cape Cod. Here's what to know.

Rasheek Tabassum Mujib, Cape Cod Times

“During spring, before school gets out, we reach out to all the schools that are within our districts to get information on the needs for teachers and students in each grade,” said Hadley Luddy, CEO of the Homeless Prevention Council.

“It's a great program and we're really proud of the way it supports families and the fact that it's customized according to the kids’ needs," she said.

In 2022, the Homeless Prevention Council distributed 327 backpacks to children, which was a 15% increase from 2021. This year, the organization is anticipating a 10% increase on top of that — 360 student/family requests. The expected cost of this year’s program will rise to $45,000.

According to the Homeless Prevention Council, on average, school supplies for each child costs about $125 (about $100 for elementary school and $150 for high school).

HPC’s ‘Back to School’ program is specifically designed to serve people from Harwich to Provincetown; its primary focus area is the Lower and Outer Cape.

“For families that come in to participate in the program, we meet them and can determine that sometimes they might be eligible for other services (such) as fuel assistance or rental assistance and we can always help them out with their other needs as well,” said Luddy.

According to Luddy, there is an increase in the number of families who need these services.

“As a community we really need to rally around and support families, parents and kids as they go back to school including many other ways that we can make an impact,” said Luddy.

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