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Backpacks full of school supplies given to Fort McPherson students

Fort McPherson, N.W.T., students will be heading back to school this week with new backpacks and school supplies. The Arctic Food Bank and Muslim Welfare Canada organized the backpack and school supplies giveaway.

First year of Arctic Food Bank's annual backpack giveaway being held outside of Inuvik

The Arctic Food Bank and Muslim Welfare Canada organized a backpack and school supplies giveaway as students in Fort McPherson, N.W.T. head back to class. (Submitted by Abdalla Mohamed)

Fort McPherson, N.W.T., students will be heading back to school this week with new backpacks and school supplies.

The Arctic Food Bank and Muslim Welfare Canada organized the backpack and school supplies giveaway.

"Students are our future and we thought about having the students to pursue their education," said Abdalla Mohamed, director of the Arctic Food Bank.

"It is just a gentle reminder to the kids and parents of how important school is and just a message to the younger students that we care," said Mohamed.

The backpacks were given by volunteers outside of Chief Julius School on Sunday. (Submitted by Abdalla Mohamed)

With volunteers helping from the Arctic Food Bank, the backpacks were given outside of Chief Julius School on Sunday. 

This is the third year that the organizations have put on this giveaway, but the first time they hosted it in Fort McPherson.

Mohamed said the first two years were held in Inuvik, N.W.T., but he brought remaining backpacks and supplies to Tuktoyaktuk last year.

"We believe we have to distribute our effort," said Mohamed. "We believe the communities are in need of it and are trying to reach them one by one when we can."

With the COVID-19 pandemic hitting the country, Mohamed said it's more important than ever to give back in this way. He said school supplies have now become harder to come by and are more expensive than before. 

"It took me a while to get what we are looking for. It's not really easy. It's not really accessible and not really cheap," Mohamed said.

The backpacks have different school supplies depending on what grade the bag is meant for.

The supplies consist of erasers, calculators, pencils, pens, school activity books, binders and more.

Mohamed said they have 200 backpacks to give away, and Chief Julius School has about 155 kids.

Any remaining backpacks will be donated to students in another community in the Beaufort Delta region.

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