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Granite Education Foundation Looking For Volunteers, Donations For Back To School

SOUTH SALT LAKE, Utah – There is a lot of fun and excitement when heading back to school, but not all children have the opportunity to get the supplies they need.

It’s not just school supplies, either.

More than half of the students living in the Granite School District are living at or below poverty level. That’s where the Granite Education Foundation is stepping in — and they could use your help.

At the Granite Education Foundation’s new donation and distribution center in South Salt Lake, you’ll find everything from backpacks filled with school supplies to meal kits that teachers can give to hungry students.

“A lot of our kids, their parents will be working full time or nights, and so the kids are fending for themselves sometimes,” said Brooke Porter with the Granite Education Foundation.

Shelves are currently full of donations, but those supplies will go quickly.

There are 64,000 students in the district, and more than 50% of them are living at or below poverty, Porter said. That means they don’t have adequate access to food clothing. Those everyday essentials are a huge need.

“We have deodorant, pre-made hygiene kids, laundry detergent,” she said. “It has to go beyond the traditional school supplies in our district because of the unique needs that exist. Our students aren’t living in the circumstances that you or I may be used to.”

Last year there were 700 homeless or transitional students in the district. On average, the foundation receives 11 requests each week from social workers seeing children in need of things like new shoes, socks and clean underwear.

“We had one little boy who was wearing his dad’s underwear, and it was rubbing,” Porter said. “It was tied in a knot so that it could fit him, and so it was rubbing a raw sore on his back.”

Porter said there are many ways the community can help. 

“There are endless ways to get involved, like donating items, clothing, backpacks, school supplies, hygiene items, or coming and helping us volunteer, assembling these kits so we can get them quickly distributed out to students, she said. “We need the help.”

The Granite Education Foundation also supplies 17 school food pantries and with the help of the Food Bank.

Those who are looking for volunteer opportunities can visit the website GraniteKids.Org. The site has instructions on how to build the meal kits and where to drop off donations.

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