Families were able to pick up new school supplies and clothes at the Mustard Seed Street Church. File contributed.

The Mustard Seed sends 750 Victoria kids back to school with new supplies and clothes

The Fair Start Program has been helping families for 20 years and seen needs increase

Families across Victoria grabbed new backpacks, school supplies and clothing this week thanks to the Mustard Seed’s Fair Start Program.

The Mustard Seed, in partnership with Monk Office, was able to put together 750 school supply kits for kids ranging from kindergarten to Grade 12.

The supplies would usually cost parents approximately $80, but The Mustard Seed was able to purchase them at-cost for $40 each.

RELATED: Is your family ready to head ‘back to school?’

“Families are asked to spend up to $400 on supplies, clothes, gym strip and more,” said Janiene Boice, director of development at The Mustard Seed Street Church. “We believe in creating a system that kids could get school supplies and not be singled out on the first day of school.”

In addition, kids were also able to go “shopping” at the Mustard Seed’s Family Centre. The Centre’s counselling room was transformed into a store filled with new clothes, shoes and backpacks for kids to go through. A total of 580 kids were allowed to pick an outfit, backpack, running shoes and coat at no cost.

“It’s a way to not feel uncomfortable or have shame, because kids already feel a stigma if they’re getting used supplies,” Boice said. “We want to empower families to have a fair start to success.”

ALSO READ: Island Health offers back to school nutrition tips

The need for school supplies has steadily increased since the Fair Start Program first began in 1998. In 2014, only 430 kits were picked up before it jumped to 680 in 2015, and to 700 in 2016.

Boice said the jump to 750 in 2017 and 2018 has to do both with public awareness of the program, but also increasing living expenses in Victoria.

As of Tuesday, 740 of the 750 kits had been picked up, but Boice said if the demand continues for the upcoming school year, The Mustard Seed would find more supplies.

“We would solve it,” Boice said. “Families come first at The Mustard Seed.”

For more information you can go to mustardseed.ca/fair-start-for-kids/


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Mustard Seed

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Claremont Spartans win the inaugural Senior Girls’ AAAA Basketball Island Championship

Claremont Spartans win their Feb. 15 game agains the Royal Bay Ravens 71 - 64

Sidney faces rising capital costs around RCMP building

Town staff expect RCMP model to remain ‘cost effective’ option

Campus View Elementary undergoes $4.2 million in seismic upgrades

Campus View Elementary undergoes significant seismic upgrades

Sidney company tastes sweet success with sugar kelp

Cascadia Seaweed is experiencing rapid growth after launching six months ago

North Saanich floats tougher policies for buoys and moorings near Tsehum Harbour

Municipality also considers additional collaboration with Sidney and other communities

VIDEO: Minister reports ‘modest progress’ after blockade talks with First Nation

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs say Coastal GasLink does not have authority to go through their lands

Henrique scores 2 as Ducks soar past Canucks 5-1

Vancouver tumbles out of top spot in Pacific Division

Trudeau cancels Caribbean trip amid pipeline protests across Canada

Protests against Coastal GasLink have disrupted rail service

B.C. VIEWS: Inaction on pipeline protests not a viable response

Columnist Frank Bucholtz on how the Coastal GasLink pipeline dispute got so bad

PHOTOS: Top 10 memories of the 2010 Olympics

Black Press Media’s Jenna Hauck, shares some of her most memorable images of 2010 Winter Games

#FoxForFiver: Support grows in B.C. to put Terry Fox on new $5 bill

Terry Fox’ Marathon of Hope raised money for cancer research

Trudeau confers with cabinet ministers as rail blockades continue

The Trudeau government has been criticized for not doing more to end the blockades

Canadian nurses’ unions warn national standards for coronavirus protection too low

President says safety protocols nationwide are inadequate compared to those in Ontario and other countries

Most Read