APPLETON, Wis. (WFRV) – It’s almost time for parents to send their kids back to school, but will they have to break the bank buying school supplies this year to give kids what they need?

In a recent article, the Associated Press cited a study performed by the retail analytics firm DataWeave that found that school supplies are about 15 percent more expensive this year compared to last.

In Appleton, Amber Allen said she enjoys back-to-school shopping.

“I’m an educator at the elementary school level so I love it, I love the neon post-its and the sparkly clipboards and all of those things that I like to buy for myself,” said Allen.

She said she buys supplies for her classroom and also for her daughter who will be a freshman at Menasha High School this year. She told Local 5 News that when kids reach high school, the district doesn’t provide parents with a back-to-school list of supplies. So she buys a few generic supplies now like notebooks and pencils and waits to buy the rest of the first week of school when her daughter goes to her classes and finds out what she needs for the year.

“I think what I’ve heard is that they are harder to find this year,” said Allen. “You’re going into the stores expecting to see a surplus of everything and you’re not able to find it because stores haven’t stocked as much or there might be some supply chain issues.”

She said although the high prices aren’t fun, she still buys the supplies because she knows her daughter will need them for the school year.

Over at the Salvation Army of the Fox Cities, marketing and communications manager, Kristal Knudtson said lots of people are feeling the pinch.

“The phones were off the hook with people asking what we are going to do with the inflation high,” said Knudtson.

With help from their community partners including Guardian Life Insurance Co-America, Kimberly Clark Corporation, and Kiwanis, the Salvation Army will donate 50 backpacks filled up with school supplies to their clients who have children.

Staff at the Salvation Army individualized each backpack so they have the exact back-to-school supply list that each student needs.

“It’s not only a confidence booster for them, but it gets them excited and ready to learn instead of like here we go again,” said Knudtson.

She said the kids always have a huge smile on their face when they see their new backpacks and school supplies.

“They are so excited, it’s something brand new, that they can claim as their own and tell their friends about,” Knudtson said.

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Knudtson said they will help anybody in need that calls them asking for assistance purchasing school supplies, you don’t have to be one of their clients.

Local 5 News also spoke to parents in an Oshkosh-area Facebook group that is helping other parents in the area buy school supplies for their children.