Tools 4 School - Back to School

What is the Tools 4 School - Back to School program?

A free backpack and school supplies program for students in Pre-K through 12th grades who live in Hunterdon County. The value of each backpack is approximately $50 USD.

Who qualifies?

Parents and guardians of students who qualify for free and reduced lunch programs in school districts within Hunterdon County are eligible to receive a free backpack during our annual Tools 4 School Back to School drive.

How are participants identified?

United Way coordinates with school nurses from each public school in Hunterdon County to identify eligible students.

How does it work?

  • United Way contacts the parent or legal guardian of eligible students with a postcard and/or text message.
  • The parent or guardian contacts United Way of Hunterdon County to confirm their participation in the program.
  • The parent or guardian is given a pick-up time and address (generally the Volunteer Center unless remote pick-ups or drop-offs are arranged with schools).
  • The parent or guardian brings their postcard to the pick-up location and fills out a list for their student, identifying the requested items from their students' class list.

Tools 4 School - Back to School Frequently Asked Questions

As with all United Way of Hunterdon County programs, there is no cost to participate.

Either you were not on the list of students provided by your school nurse, you do not qualify, or we do not have a current address or cell phone for you. If you qualify, please contact us for more information.

You can have someone pick up the backpack on your behalf if they have the original postcard.

United Way of Hunterdon County works with administrators and teachers from each school district to understand what supplies are needed for each grade level. We then create a list specific to each grade, based on the feedback we receive from the schools.

When you come in to pick up the backpack, you will have the option to receive all the suggested supplies for your student's grade level. You can also select only the supplies that your student needs (for example, if they already have a dozen pencils, you may opt to not collect pencils). This helps ensure that there are materials available for all who need them, as we do have some categories where supplies may be limited.