School Shoes Program making impact


People In Need, Inc. of Delaware County Ohio (PIN) is pleased to announce the results of its 2023 School Shoes Program.

An annual event since 1999, the program provides funding for Delaware County students to purchase a new pair of shoes ahead of the school year. As it continues to grow year after year, 2023 marked the program’s most significant impact yet.

“Originally, we planned to give 600 cards at $40 each this year. But, as with all of our programs, the need has become so great this year that we increased that number to match the 671 qualified students at the end of the application period,” said PIN’s Executive Director Kathy Hoff. “Even at that, there were about 150 students on our waiting list should more funding become available.”

Hoff went on to explain that, despite the program’s initial fundraising goal of $24,000, PIN was able to pull from the organization’s other funding to provide the additional 71 shoe cards.

“It’s not ideal to pull from other sources, but the need in this program was so great this year that we could not ignore it. So, we decided that if we can get another 71 students ready to start the school year right, we’re going to do it.”

The $40 shoe cards to Tanger Outlets made their way into the students’ hands during the United Way’s Supplies for Scholars event on July 27 and 28. Supplies for Scholars itself provides thousands of Delaware County children with the supplies necessary to start the school year. Over the two-day event, PIN welcomed hundreds of families from throughout Delaware County.

With the school year underway, the programs at PIN are also ramping up. With the Weekend Backpack Program for Delaware City Schools now in the hands of the organization, support for local students is never-ending.

PIN hopes to expand the reach of this program for the 2023- 2024 school year and ensure that more students have meals over the weekend when free or reduced cost lunches are not available.

Services at PIN have been on the rise overall. In July, assistance in its Food Insecurity programs rose more than 36% over July 2022, which itself saw a significant increase over years prior.

“With the increase in School Shoes participation, the higher numbers in our Food Pantry are unfortunately not surprising. As our community grows, so does the need,” Hoff said. “And while it’s not been too difficult finding volunteers to keep up with the workload, keeping enough on the shelves to feed our neighbors has certainly been a challenge.”

Despite the supply challenges and the occasional empty shelf, Hoff said that PIN has managed to keep pace with the rising need in all areas. She gave thanks to the community which ensures that PIN can continue to provide relief to those in need.

More information on PIN’s services can be found at Assistance through the Food Pantry is provided during their operating hours on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday each week.

Submitted by People in Need, Inc.

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