LIVINGSTON, NJ — In support of its ninth annual Back 2 School Store, an annual event where economically disadvantaged children are able to shop cost-free for brand new attire, school supplies and personal care items, encouraging a well-equipped and confident start to the new school year, the National Council of Jewish Women Essex County chapter (NCJW/Essex) received a $2,500 grant from Investors Foundation.

The event, which was help on Sunday, July 30, outfitted nearly 800 children with the help of 475 volunteers.  The Investors Foundation was created by Investors Bank in 2005 to support initiatives in the arts, youth development, health and human services, education and affordable housing in the communities it serves.

“The support from Investors Foundation is important to the success of this community-wide event,” said Livingston resident Shari Harrison, president of NCJW/Essex. “We rely on the generosity of many individuals, foundations and corporations to enable us to purchase brand new items for the children including pants, shirts, winter coats, gloves, socks, undergarments, hats and backpacks.”

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Harrison explained that the children are referred to the Back 2 School Store by more than 30 social service agencies and are escorted through the store with a personal shopper. While the children shopped, parents and guardians visited the onsite Gaelen Family Resource Center, which offered information from numerous community service agencies as well as health screenings and information.

According to NCJW/Essex, the cost of school supplies is often overlooked as a major annual expense. Families that are living in poverty struggle with the rising cost demands of public education.

In Essex County alone, 22 percent of households with children lived below the poverty level in 2015. NCJW/Essex believes that no child should start off the school year already behind, and has put together the B2SS for the past nine years to meet this need.

To read the TAPinto Livingston coverage of this event, click HERE.

Pictured above, Volunteer June Schechner of Short Hills, where Investors Bank is headquartered, sets off on a shopping spree with a young shopper at the Back 2 School Store.