LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — The YMCA of Central Kentucky is preparing to host its annual back-to-school rally this weekend -but this year, the organization hopes to help families who are feeling the brunt of inflation and rising costs even more.
YMCA of Central Kentucky Vice President of Mission Advancement, Jessica Berry, says, "This is an effort to make sure that every child starts off the school day on the same level platform."
Despite school supply costs rising, leaders have 5,500 book bags for kids at the elementary, middle, and high school levels. They estimate on average each family is saving $15 per student.
Berry says, "We do just give basic supplies, we have the paper, the pencils, the folders, the composition notebooks. We can’t provide it all we wish we could, but we know that this will help families to be able to focus on some other necessary supplies."
The YMCA of Central Kentucky says that their supply costs have gone up 30% - and this weekend they'll be stuffing backpacks with supplies to pass on savings to families.
University of Kentucky’s Director of the Center for Business and Economic Research, Dr. Mike Clark, says, "I think parents are just gonna have to kind of look at the different types of spending that they're going to have to incur."
Those costs can include school supplies, food, and the cost of fuel. While the cost of school supplies hasn't gone up as much compared to other goods, this business and economic research director believes that inflation rates will slow down.
"But there is a lot of uncertainty. A lot of the supply chain issues, that have been plaguing the U.S. over the past couple of years, seem to be improving. And so as those supply chain issues get worked out the supply of those goods will improve and that you know will help moderate prices to some extent,” says Dr. Clark.
In addition to easing families' financial strains this upcoming year, the goal of this weekend's event is to get families excited about the upcoming school year and to make sure they get the tools they need to learn.
"So it's an opportunity for parents and families to come out to engage with the teachers, and their schools and their communities so that we can all work together for the support of our students,” says Berry.
The YMCA of Central Kentucky will host its back-to-school event this Saturday, July 30th from 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM. There are more than 10 different locations around Lexington. For more information on the event, you can head over to ymcacky.org.