It’s not easy to find affordable school supplies, especially with soaring inflation. More parents have turned to supply drives — where the community comes together to donate clothes, notebooks and pens for their children — ahead of the forthcoming school year.
The number of people showing up for back-to-school supply drives increased by 168% in the first seven months of 2022 compared to the pre-pandemic levels in 2019, according to Eventbrite. That marked an increase of 1,135% from the previous year. While some of it was due to a mass return to in-person events, parents were also looking to get ahead of back-to-school preparation with rising inflation and concerns over the economy, said Tamara Mendelsohn, the chief marketing officer at Eventbrite, an event management and ticketing platform. Most of the drives were community events and started a lot earlier than in previous years, she told MarketWatch. The uptick in participation not only reflects parental concerns about school costs, but also concerns among the community as well, Mendelsohn said. Parents reported stress and anxiety during the back-to-school season as prices soar for rent, food, clothes and gasoline. This single mom previously told MarketWatch that even discounted clothes on sale were not affordable and turned to dollar stores for stationeries.
“More than a third of parents were using “buy now, pay later” (BNPL) loans for making the purchase.”
— TransUnion report on back-to-school shopping