Assistance for School Supplies

Even with public schools, going back to school is often synonymous with additional costs for families, be it school supplies, transportation, day care, meals, etc.

To help families for whom these purchases can be an obstacle, many community organizations developed programs aimed at providing school supplies to elementary and high school children. Whether it’s backpacks, notebooks, pencils, rulers, binders or other items, these organizations provide the required supplies.

BE CAREFUL: In most cases, enrollment in these programs happens long before the start of the school year, from May to July. 211 receives a lot of calls from families looking for assistance purchasing school supplies during the month of September when the distribution is almost over.

Map of organizations with a school supplies assistance program

School Supplies Donation Programs

Different organizations collect donations and provide school supplies to their community, but there are also some regional programs. Here are the main ones:

Magasins-Partage de la rentrée scolaire - Opération Sac à Dos (City of Montreal)

Link to Magasins-Partage

Since 2002, Magasins-Partage stores have distributed school supplies to children and families in need throughout 17 Montreal neighborhoods.

WHEN? During the third week of August (2018: August 14–17), children are asked to choose their backpacks, supplies and an insulated lunch box.

WHO? This service is offered free of charge to any family going through a difficult financial situation. Each registered household will be individually met by a case worker who will be assessing their needs and their situation. More than 4,500 children are helped each year.

WHERE? In one of the 17 participating Magasins-Partage stores. You must call your local store to find out this year’s registration requirements (registration day, documents you must provide, etc.).

Neighborhood

Magasins-Partage

Ahuntsic-Cartierville

La Corbeille Bordeaux-Cartierville (Cartierville)

Service de nutrition et d’action communautaire (SNAC) (Ahuntsic)

Anjou

Concertation Anjou

Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce

MultiCaf

Lachine

N/A

LaSalle

N/A

Le Plateau-Mont-Royal

N/A

Le Sud-Ouest

N/A

L'Île-Bizard–Sainte-Geneviève

N/A

Mercier–Hochelaga-Maisonneuve

CAP Saint-Barnabé (Hochelaga-Maisonneuve)

Société de Saint-Vincent-de-Paul – Saint-François-d’Assise (Mercier-Est)

Montréal-Nord

Les Fourchettes de l’Espoir

Outremont

N/A

Pierrefonds-Roxboro

N/A

Rivière-des-Prairies–Pointe-aux-Trembles

CDC Rivière-des-Prairies

Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie

Bouffe-Action de Rosemont

Coopère Rosemont

Centre de ressources et d’action communautaire de la Petite-Patrie (CRAC)

Saint-Laurent

Comité des Organismes Sociaux de Saint-Laurent

Saint-Léonard

Table de concertation Saint-Léonard

Verdun

N/A

Ville-Marie

Marché solidaire Frontenac

Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension

La Ressource Action-Alimentation de Parc-Extension (Parc-Extension)

Mon Resto Saint Michel (Saint-Michel)

Patro Le Prevost (Villeray)

These children’s families can also choose food, perishable or nonperishable, for breakfast and lunch boxes. Participants using this service are asked to contribute 10% of the actual cost of the grocery bill.

Opération Bonne Mine (OBM) — Société de Saint-Vincent-de-Paul (SSVP) – Montreal, Laval and MRC de L’Assomption

Link to the program Société de Saint-Vincent de Paul Opération Bonne Mine

Registration for 2018 begins July 2nd and ends on September 15th, depending on the availability of the point of service. Read the letter sent to the parents.

Since 1994, the Société de Saint-Vincent de Paul (SSVP) has helped families with low incomes have a positive back-to-school experience by reducing the financial burden associated with the new school year.

Each year, from July to September, SSVP distributes vouchers that can be redeemed:

  • In all participating schools for tuition, child care, transportation fees, supplies, uniforms, lunches, etc.
  • In all participating Jean Coutu pharmacies and bookstores for the purchase of school supplies only.

This service is offered free of charge to any family in a difficult situation. In order to be assessed for the help you are entitled to, you may need to provide certain documents such as proofs of address or income.

To get help, a request must be submitted to your local SSVP Help Center (only in Montreal, Laval and the MRC de l’Assomption): A volunteer will give you an appointment and explain the procedures. Here is the link to find a help center. Certain neighborhoods are not served by the SSVP, but can still be part of the Opération Bonne Mine (OBM) program. This is the case for the residents of Pointe-Saint-Charles who may call their CLSC for help in getting school supplies.

Sign up early! Registration is on a first-come first-served basis until the depletion of vouchers.

Fondation Maman Dion

The Fondation Maman Dion offers selected low-income families school supplies, as well as glasses and clothing for the new school year.

Last day of the registration period for 2019 is March 31, 2019.

Check out the foundation’s website to find out the admission requirements for the program: fondationmamandion.org/aide-a-la-rentree/

More Organizations Helping families get School Supplies

Other organizations in each region of Greater Montreal offer school supplies. Each organization has its own eligibility criteria and gives either vouchers or school supplies to families.

To locate organizations distributing school supplies, consult the map shown above.

Financial assistance from the Quebec government for school supplies

Special Back-to-School Allocation for Welfare Recipients

In August, individuals receiving social assistance from the Quebec government are entitled to a special benefit for dependent children attending school. This benefit applies to children aged between 6 and 16 years old. Click here for details on the special benefit.

SUPPLEMENTS FOR THE PURCHASE OF SCHOOL SUPPLIES

Since 2017, the Quebec government has been giving $100 per school-age child (ages 4 to 16) each year in the month of July. No application is required, the amount will be automatically added to the Child Assistance payment.[1]

 

 


[1] Retraite Québec, November 23, 2017, online : https://www.retraitequebec.gouv.qc.ca/fr/actualites/2017/Pages/20171123-1.aspx