Back-to-school: Where to give and receive supplies

A family with their new backacks

Summer has only begun, and already The Salvation Army is hard at work preparing for back-to-school.

Soon, thousands of kids in the Twin Cities, Greater Minnesota and North Dakota will need backpacks, notebooks, pencils, and other school supplies that their families cannot afford.

Portrait of DeborahFamilies like Deborah and her kids. Deborah works hard, but sometimes her expenses exceed her income. Paying for back-to-school supplies, Deborah said, can be as expensive “as a light bill or a gas bill. To be able to get (school) supplies is a great savings. I really appreciate The Salvation Army helping me stay afloat.”

Whether you need school supplies or want to donate them, the information below is your one-stop shop for back-to-school in Minnesota and North Dakota.   

Where to give school supplies

Twin Cities

Donations of school supplies can be dropped off at your nearest Salvation Army location in the Twin Cities (find locations).

In addition, select Walmart stores in the Twin Cities will host collections on Saturday, Aug. 3.

Greater Minnesota

Albert Lea: Power 96 radio will host a “Stuff the Bus” collection on Wednesday, July 24 at TBD times and locations. Walmart will host a collection on Saturday, Aug. 3. In addition, donations of school supplies or money can be dropped off at the Albert Lea Salvation Army, 302 Court St., now through Aug. 12.

A girl colors in schoolBrainerd: Donations of school supplies or money can be dropped off during regular business hours June 24–Aug. 6 at the Brainerd Salvation Army and the Salvation Army Thrift Store, 609 Norwood St. In addition, school supplies can be donated at Westgate Mall.

Mankato: Donations of school supplies or money can be dropped off now through Aug. 21 at the Mankato Salvation Army, 700 S. Riverfront Drive, during regular business hours.

Rochester: The Salvation Army the United Way of Olmsted County have teamed up to provide an online drive. Visit The Salvation Army’s page on the United Way website to shop online for the school supplies you’d like to donate. All school supplies will go directly to students who are enrolled in free and reduced-price lunch programs in local schools.

St. Cloud: Donations of school supplies or money can be dropped off July 1–Aug. 15 at the St. Cloud Salvation Army, 400 U.S. Highway 10 S., during regular business hours.

North Dakota

Grand Forks: Donations of school supplies can be dropped off during regular business hours at Scheels Grand Forks (July 29–Aug. 10), Northern Roots Boutique (July 17–Aug. 10), and the Grand Forks Salvation Army (now through Aug. 20).

Where to receive school supplies

Twin Cities

School supply distributions have been scheduled for pre-registered families at the locations below. To register, stop by your nearest Salvation Army location during regular business hours and bring the following items:

  • Photo ID for yourself
  • A piece of mail with your name and address
  • Medical card or birth certificate or social security card for each child

Brooklyn Park Salvation Army, 10011 Noble Parkway, Brooklyn Park: Saturday, Aug. 3, time TBD

Maplewood Salvation Army, 2080 Woodlynn Ave., Maplewood: Tuesday, Aug. 6, 5–7 p.m.

Central Ave. Salvation Army, 2727 Central Ave. NE, Minneapolis: Thursday, Aug. 1, 1–6 p.m.

E. Lake St. Salvation Army, 1604 E. Lake St., Minneapolis: Wednesday, Aug. 14, 9 a.m.–4 p.m.

North Minneapolis Salvation Army, 2024 Lyndale Ave. N., Minneapolis: Wednesday, Aug. 7, 9 a.m.–6 p.m.

Payne Ave. Salvation Army, 1019 Payne Ave., St. Paul: Friday, Aug. 2, 4–6 p.m.

Greater Minnesota

Albert Lea: School supplies will be distributed for kids in grades K–7 on Monday, Aug. 12 from 2–6 p.m. at the Albert Lea Salvation Army, 302 Court St. About 300 backpacks filled with school supplies will be given away. Bring an ID for each child and proof of school district.

A boy poses with his backpackBrainerd: School supplies will be distributed Aug. 14-15, times TBD, at the Brainerd Salvation Army, 208 S. 5th St. Bring ID showing that children reside in Crow Wing County (popular forms of ID include school correspondences or food service award letters).

Hibbing: Pre-register for school supplies at the Hibbing Salvation Army, 107 W. Howard St., on Thursday, Aug. 1 from 1–3 p.m. or Friday, Aug. 2 from 9–11 a.m. and 5:30–7 p.m. Bring verification of household income and ID for all adults and children in the household. School supplies will be distributed on-site onThursday, Aug. 30 from 1–3 p.m. and Friday, Aug. 31 from 9 a.m.–12 p.m.    

Mankato: Pre-register for school supplies at the Mankato Salvation Army, 700 S. Riverfront Drive, during regular business hours July 29–Aug. 2. Open only to children attending Blue Earth County and North Mankato schools. Parents bring photo ID and EBT, Medica or SSI statement. School supplies will be distributed on-site Aug. 21 from 9 a.m.–2 p.m.

St. Cloud: Pre-register for school supplies July 9–Aug. 8 at the St. Cloud Salvation Army, 400 U.S. Highway 10 S., on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9–11 a.m. and 1–3 p.m. Parents bring photo ID, a piece of mail with your name and address, and medical card or birth certificate or social security card for each child. School supplies will be distributed on-site Aug. 14–15 from 9–11 a.m. and 1–3 p.m.

North Dakota

Grand Forks: Pre-register for school supplies July 8–12 (times TBD) at the Grand Forks Salvation Army, 1600 University Ave. Open only to residents of Grand Forks County and City of East Grand Forks. Parents bring photo ID, proof of residence, and medical card or birth certificate or social security card for each child. School supplies will be distributed Tuesday, Aug. 20 at 9:30 a.m.

The Salvation Army Northern Division pledges to do the most good with your gifts of time and money, with 81 cents of every dollar going directly to services. Join us by volunteering or making a donation to support your local community. Stay current on how The Salvation Army is changing lives in Minnesota and North Dakota by signing up for our e-Newsletters.

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