Back-to-school season means a lot of things for parents and kids: excitement, sadness, nervousness, and a whole lot of new expenses. A new school year can be pricey given the costs of supplies, backpacks, clothes, haircuts, and all the other miscellaneous expenses that pop up every year at the end of summer. Money for those expenses can be difficult for some houses to come by, and students without the proper gear and resources for school and often fall behind their peers. Luckily, Kroger and a team of community partners joined forces this summer to raise money for school supplies as part of the “Backpack Boosters” program, raising nearly $260,000 to provide students with the supplies they need for a productive school year.

Kroger’s Backpack Boosters program brought together the efforts of Fox 26 Houston, Powerade, Dasani, Eclipse, Orbit Gum, Coca Cola, Entercom Radio (95.7 The Spot, Mix 96.5, Mega 101 FM, the Bull 100.3, CBS Sports Radio 640 AM and Sports 610 Radio), and Kroger, of course. The $259,681 raised during the 14-day fund drive this year will provide 37,000 deserving students with free school supplies to start the year off right.

Backpack Boosters gave Kroger shoppers the opportunity to donate a pre-packaged school supply kit for $7 or make a $1 donation at the checkout counter.  “We are so thankful for shoppers’ generous support of the Backpack Boosters program. Because of that generosity, thousands of children around our city will return to school this year prepared and ready to learn,” said Sparkle Anderson, Kroger Corporate Affairs Manager.

The school supplies were delivered to four different school districts by 18-wheeler trucks. Daniel Caesar, Houston Regional Superintendent for KIPP Texas Public Schools, expressed his gratitude for Kroger shoppers’ generosity, stating that the money donated is an investment in Houston’s future. “We are deeply grateful and honored to have been selected for the Backpack Boosters program this year. Our students will reap tremendous benefits from the school supplies donated by Kroger and Community Partners,” Caesar said. “This act of kindness represents an investment in our future. These aren’t just school supplies, these are educational tools that will aid in learning and lead to bright futures in college and beyond for our KIPPsters.”