(WKTV) - It's the time of year again to stock up on back to school supplies for the kids.
It's a fun annual ritual, but for some parents, it's stressful because they don't have the money to purchase them.
The United Way of the Valley and Greater Utica is stepping in to make sure all kids have what they need to succeed in school. They've been collecting donated items for two months and on Tuesday, agencies and schools got their supplies.
Officials say the need in our backyard is great.
"The need is great in our area, and a lot of people are aware that the City of Utica and the school district has a high amount of children that are below the poverty level," said Brenda Episcopo of the United Way. "You'd be surprised if you looked around Herkimer and Oneida counties just how many kids do qualify for services, because they're living below the poverty level."
Families in need of school supplies can contact the following public distribution sites after Aug. 21: Catholic Charities on West Street in Ilion and the Salvation Army on Clinton Place in Utica.
Supplies will be available while they last during regular business hours.