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$1M worth of free school supplies to be given to St. Louis teachers

Free school supplies will be given out to teachers through KidSmart Wednesday afternoon.

ST. LOUIS — This time of year, most students are excited about heading back to class.

But for students whose parents can't afford school supplies, the first day of school can be a stressful time.

The group "KidSmart” is relieving that stress for thousands of families Wednesday afternoon.

KidSmart told 5 On Your Side, more than 90,000 St. Louis area children can’t afford basic school supplies each year. That's enough kids to fill Busch Stadium twice.

$1 million worth of free school supplies will be given away Wednesday at 4 p.m. at Ballpark Village for this year’s Distribution Day.

The Buck family, Ballpark Village and KidSmart are teaming up for the supply giveaway.

Books, backpacks and more will be given out.

RELATED: Back to school supplies still very much needed for teachers, students

Supplies are going to 40,000 students in need. Eight-hundred teachers will be arriving in downtown St. Louis in their cars to collect the supplies. The Distribution Day will be held in a drive-thru setup.

Walmart, St. Louis Blues for Kids, Starbucks, Ameren, Deirbergs and many more companies lent a hand in the “Big Backpack Build” to help fund the $1 million worth of school supplies for kids.

Local teachers had to pre-register to receive the supplies and interest was high this year.

In 2021, $600,000 worth of free supplies were given away. This year, the goal has nearly doubled to match a growing need for assistance.

The National Retail Federation said families with kids in elementary to high school plan to spend an average of $864 on school items. That's about $15 more than last year’s average cost.

The federation reports, 42% of parents are searching for sales, 35% are buying generic brand supplies and 24% are reusing supplies to save money.

Teachers – if you know you have some students in need and you weren't able to pre-register for the Distribution Day, there are other ways to get free supplies.

Teachers can volunteer at KidSmart for a few hours and get up to $1,000 in school supplies for students in their classes.

Find more information and details on how to give to students in need, click here.

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