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Winnipeg group collecting school supplies for those in need

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Winnipeggers are tightening their purse strings while filling backpacks with new school supplies.

Christine Stacey said less than 48 hours after making a Facebook post calling for school supply donations, people have donated enough to fill 25 backpacks.  She's hoping to support low-income families with the donations - saying she understands what they are going through.

"I figured I want to help because my mom was in that place so I want to help someone else that's kind of in the same place," Stacey said." I still have more (supplies) coming so I'm actually quite excited about it."

This year - school supply budgets are shrinking, but it's not because supplies are cheaper. The Retail Council of Canada conducted a survey of 3,680 people in July. It found less people are willing to increase their budget and more people want to spend less, an indication of economic pressures.

Breaking down the dollars, nearly a quarter of people are planning to spend less than 50 dollars on supplies, a 3 per cent increase from last year. It also found three-quarters of people plan to spend more than $50 on supplies.

COMM.Unity204 Founder Daniel Hidalgo said they are collecting new school supplies hoping to get enough to fill 50 backpacks.

''I have an 11-yearold so I definitely know the costs associated with school,” Hidalgo said. "Things are getting back into the swing of things since the pandemic, the last thing we want children to worry about is how they look or what they have or don't have."

He says on top of needing new clothing, parents often have to pay school fees for children too.

"The barriers are just endless so if you find yourself in a situation where you are financially limited it can be a daunting experience to know that I might not be able to send my kids to school because I can't find them pens and papers."

Those looking to help can drop off donations at COMM.Unity’s 143 Smith location, or email Stacey at schristine221@gmail.com.

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