QUINCY — The Quincy Neighborhood Federation wants to make sure kids are ready for the start of school again this year.
"We still want kids to have school supplies and make sure they have things they need," said Brittney Welch, the federation's events coordinator. "It just will be handed out a little differently."
The COVID-19 pandemic scrapped the federation's annual Back to School Fair, which offers food, school physicals, clothing and backpacks with school supplies.
Instead, Welch said, families are asked to complete a form by July 16 listing school and grade, clothing size and shoe size for each child. Forms are available on the Parsons Kids Center Facebook page.
"We don't have any guidelines on income. It's just whoever needs it," Welch said. "You do have to have your children present when you pick up."
Evening distribution, by appointment, begins Aug. 4, at the Parsons Center, 812 Payson.
Volunteers will pack backpacks with donated school supplies. "We don't give a full school supply list. We go off donations and give what we have," Welch said. "You may still need to provide some items."
Welch said plans call for providing clothing, shoes and family hygiene bags filled with items such as laundry detergent, shampoo and conditioner.
"Typically people pick out what they want – their own bookbag, their own clothes," Welch said. "This year we're going off ages and picking for them. It's not ideal, but it's the best we can do."
Community support makes the distribution possible, Welch said, and it's more important than ever this year.
"Some of our children, either their parents don't have the means to provide the school supplies for them or this year maybe families who weren't low-income before have fallen to low-income and may need extra assistance getting school supplies," she said. "We want to make sure every kid has what they need to learn."
Donations of school supplies, clothing and shoes are welcome for the Quincy Neighborhood Federation's Back to School Fair.
"For back to school, we try to do new stuff," said Brittney Welch, the federation's events coordinator. "We do take gently-used clothes and shoes for kids and typically hand that out at the center year-round."
More information is available by contacting Welch at 217-577-8188 or email@example.com.