But for impoverished families in rural areas, back-to-school shopping is an experience that either depletes them of much-needed funds, or is something they're forced to skip, Jenni Frankenberg Veal reports for Nooga.com in Chattanooga.
"Within an hour’s drive from Chattanooga, Southeast Tennessee is home to three counties that rank in the top 10 percent of the nation’s most economically distressed counties, according to the Appalachian Regional Commission: Grundy, Meigs and Bledsoe counties. In Bledsoe County 84 percent of students are listed as economically disadvantaged, Veal writes. As a result, many students rely on donations to get their school supplies. Amanda Prichett, elementary school supervisor for Meigs County schools, told Veal, "If a child has school supplies when he or she begins school, it is one less thing the family and the child has to worry about. The earlier we can intervene, the better." (Read more)