By Greg Gullberg
July 29, 2013
Valdosta, GA - It's time to get geared up for back to school, but not everyone can afford all those supplies. An area charity however, is making sure everyone is on a level playing field.
You might think of it as a shopping center for teachers. Except everything in this store is absolutely free.
Hundreds of teachers came out for the opening day of "Teacher's Harvest", which is now in its fourth year. It's a program put on by the Second Harvest Food Bank of South Georgia.
"It's beneficial for the children as well as the teachers. Because where else can you go to find items you can use in the classroom for free?" said Brenda Rodgers, 5th grade teacher at Sallas Mahone Elementary in Valdosta.
Teacher's Harvest serves public schools in South Georgia where more than 60% of students qualify for free or reduced cost lunches.
"The average school teacher spends anywhere from $400 to $1,000 dollars out of their own pocket buying supplies for children. Our overall goal with this program is to make that burden a little bit less," said Frank Richards, President & CEO of Second Harvest Food Bank of South Georgia.
Since it started, they've served more than 2,500 teachers and given away almost $2 million worth of school supplies.
Teacher's Harvest will stay open throughout the school year. All the items are donated from different companies all over the country.
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