HADLEY, Mass. (WWLP) – The Salvation Army along with the Hampshire County Sheriff’s Office are hosting “Stuff the Squad Car,” to collect school supplies for those in need on Thursday.

According to a news release sent to 22News from The Salvation Army, the event will be located at the Hampshire Mall from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. for donations of backpacks and school supplies. Those who wish to donate items can participate in games and a chance to win prizes.

“Many of the families we serve in Western Massachusetts are living paycheck-to-paycheck. With inflation stretching so many of our budgets, we recognize that checking everything off the “back-to-school list can be a heavy burden for families. Something as simple as writing utensils and paper are things that can determine the progress and achievement children in the classroom,”  said Marc Massey, Field Representative, The Salvation Army Service Units.

Back-to-school spending this season is expected to roughly match that of 2021’s set record of $37 billion. This is an $11 billion increase to 2019. Families with kids elementary through high school age are predicted to spend $864 on school items, a slight increase of about $15 over last year.