COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)School might be out for the summer, but here at NBC4, we’re already working to ensure students in central Ohio have the tools they need to have a successful school year.

Over the past four years, NBC4’s Stuff The Backpack has provided nearly 165,000 students in Franklin and Licking counties with necessary school supplies.

Heading into the initiative’s fifth year, Senior Vice President of Community Impact for United Way Michael Wilkos said the backpacks may be needed even more due to ongoing inflation.

“Wrap services around those families in the community and try to help families out who financially struggle by making sure those kids have a backpack,” Wilkos said. “So when they get into the classroom, they have all the things they need that the school doesn’t have the financial resources to provide.”

The relief goes beyond the students and their families. Director of Curriculum and Instruction for Canal Winchester Schools Cyndi Toledo said it provides major relief for the teachers as well.

It’s a big relief on the teacher’s part when they’re starting their year and all their students have the supplies they need to get their year started,” Toledo said. “So it’s a little less out of their pocket and so it’s a pick relief to them.”

A $10 donation will provide one student with a supply-filled backpack or, for $270, donors can provide an entire classroom with supply-filled backpacks.

Besides monetary donations, this year donors can also purchase supplies or a backpack from an Amazon Wishlist in addition to purchasing and donating supplies at a CME Federal Credit Union, Primary One Health location, or the Columbus Metropolitan Library.

For more on the Stuff The Backpack initiative, click here.