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Donations of school supplies and new backpacks like these (shown in 2018) are needed now to help Community Dining Room (CDR) provide back-to-school gear to Branford kids in need. CDR expects requests this year to top last year's total distribution of 140 filled backpacks given to students in grades K - 12. (Photo courtesy Community Dining Room )
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Back-to-school can't happen for many kids in the area without help from the annual town-wide School Supply Collection Drive organized by non-profit Community Dining Room (CDR). The program gives new backpacks and supplies to Branford students in need in grades K – 12.
The success of the drive depends on residents, groups and organizations donating hundreds of needed school supply items (see the list below) and plenty of brand-new backpacks throughout the summer.
CDR Executive Director Judy Barron said donations have been coming in slowly and a big boost during the last days of the collection is needed to help make this another successful year for the program. CDR is anticipating a large number of requests this year.
"Last year, we were able to provide 140 backpacks, and we expect those numbers to rise this year," said Barron.
CDR will be collecting backpacks and school supplies until Sunday, August 18 and will be distributing filled backpacks to pre-registered students on August 20, during CDR's Tuesday Night Dinner on the Branford green.
New school supplies can be contributed by dropping them off now through August 18 at two town locations including CDR at 30 Harrison Ave. or the Branford First Selectman's Office at Town Hall on Town Hall Drive.
Parents or guardians of students in need of a filled backpack are asked to sign up in advance by making a quick visit to CDR with valid identification to verify residency in Branford. For further information or assistance, please contact Tabitha Brown at CDR at (203) 488-9750 ext. 2.
CDR is open seven days a week from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
The following items are needed to assist CDR's School Supply Drive: new backpacks, lunch bags, pencils/pens, binders (1", 2" and 3"), folders, composition notebooks, three-subject notebooks, five-subject notebooks, markers, crayons, colored pencils, glue, glue sticks, highlighters, loose leaf paper, pencil boxes, pencil pouches, rulers, child scissors, erasers, calculators, paper clips etc.
The Community Dining Room is located at 30 Harrison Ave. in Branford. For more information on the backpack program, contact Tabitha Brown at 203-488-9750 (ext.2) or email
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