Orange County nonprofit gives children school supplies with physicals amid inflation concerns

Jessica De Nova Image
Friday, July 22, 2022
OC nonprofit gives kids school supplies with physicals amid inflation
Families Together of Orange County is giving away back-to-school supplies to families bringing their children in for physicals in an effort to help them with the increasing costs of preparing kids for school due to inflation.

TUSTIN, Calif. (KABC) -- Families Together of Orange County is giving away back-to-school supplies to students who receive a physical -- an effort to help parents with the increasing costs of preparing kids for school amid inflation.

The cost of returning to class is on the rise and Orange County parents can feel it.

Maria Del Pilar Lopez, a Spanish-speaking mother who spoke with Eyewitness News Thursday, said she's noticed prices slowly going up.

She was grateful during her children's physical appointments to find out her preferred community health center of nearly three decades was giving away 900 back-to-school kits to children getting physicals, while supplies last.

The director of business development at Families Together of Orange County said they want to help families while making health care a priority.

"It becomes an extra expense for the parents to have to have all the school supplies for the children," Soledad Rivera said. "Then everything is becoming very expensive... put food on the table, add other costs to it. So we want to make sure we're here to support."

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over the last year, sports equipment saw the greatest price hike at 8%, followed by musical instruments, apparel, toys, games and playground equipment.

Books and supplies went up nearly 4% since last June. Tuition, fees and childcare saw a rise of nearly 3%.

The cost of electronics, however, went in the opposite direction, dropping nearly 7%.

With high school behind her, Jennifer Tapia prepared to cover college fees and texts for the first time.

She welcomed these supplies Thursday.

"If you go to the store, they're actually pretty expensive to get, depending where you get them, and not many people can get that," Tapia said.

Tapia's brother, Joseth Tapia, will be an eighth grader this fall. He said after seeing his mother beat breast cancer, and his father take on extra days at work to make ends meet, it was nice to see his parents who do so much for them catch a break.

"The rent has been going up and we mostly put all the money into us -- her children," Joseth said.

Anyone interested in signing up for this back-to-school program can call 657-550-1325.

Parents who also get a physical can take home a box filled with proteins for the household.