A new school year means a new homeroom, new teachers, and shiny, new school supplies like colourful binders and pencil cases, but not for everyone. School supplies can be expensive and quite a challenge for some families, and that’s where the Salvation Army’s Back-To-School Backpack Program comes in. Salvation Army spokesperson, Heather Hedstrom says what they have learned is that when a student starts out without the supplies needed, they are less likely to take part in school activities. Giving them a backpack filled with all the new supplies they need helps to put them on an equal footing with the other students. Since the program began in 2010, over 4-thousand backpacks have been filled with another 1-thousand expected this year. Volunteers are filling them this week, in anticipation of the start of the school year after the September Long Weekend. The Salvation Army also organizes a breakfast program at Nutana Collegiate and a weekend program that supports 20 families from 2 schools. The students are given a backpack filled with food to feed their family for the weekend.