Education Foundation Backpack & School Supply Drive is Underway

Logos of sponsors for backpack initiative

For immediate release


Essential School Supplies Needed for Palm Beach County Students

Each summer, in preparation for the new school year, the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County collaborates with community partners to organize the Backpack and School Supply Drive to ensure that students will begin the year with essential supplies needed to succeed.

While the upcoming school year will look different for all of us, there’s one thing that’s for certain: the need for supplies remains. 67% of Palm Beach County School District students qualify for Free or Reduced Lunch-priced meals prior to COVID-19, and that number continues to rise. In underserved communities across Palm Beach County, many students will begin the first day of school without the supplies they need to learn.

Yet, here’s the good news: research shows that when students are equipped with the tools they need to succeed--they flourish. By providing essential school supplies for teachers and students alike, we create environments where teachers can focus on teaching and learners have equal opportunity to learn.

In a survey conducted by the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County, teachers reported spending an average of $875 annually on school supplies for high-needs students prior to partnering with the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County. Teachers also shared how this program impacted students in the following ways:
• 90.26% learned in a more equitable classroom environment
• 79.22% displayed improved behavior in the classroom
• 64.29% earned better grades

After last year’s success with providing over 4,000 elementary students backpacks filled with supplies to start their first day of school, the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County has again teamed up with the community to make an impact. The Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Sugar, Carrier, ICNA Relief and the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County Volunteer Center contributed over $50,000 in funding which will provide backpacks filled with school supplies and classroom books for elementary students in Belle Glade, Pahokee, South Bay and Canal Point for this 2020-2021 school year.

Deliveries will take place during the first week of school thanks to Two Men and A Truck of Palm Beach who has generously donated their time and equipment to transport supplies to support these selected Title 1 elementary schools within the Glades Region.

“A backpack of supplies might not seem like much to us. But to a young child, starting a school year without the supplies they need to learn can be devastating to their sense of dignity and worth. When we give a child a backpack, we’re not just giving supplies…we are giving dignity…we are giving hope…we are giving a future.” said James Gavrilos, President/CEO of the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County.

“The people of U.S. Sugar are pleased to help ensure Glades-area students are prepared for the upcoming school year. With parents facing some uncertainty right now, finding their children the necessary school supplies should not be one of them. We are proud to give back to the Glades communities where we live, work and play and ensure local children have what they need to succeed.” said Brannan Thomas, Community Relations Manager for U.S. Sugar.

Support the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County’s Backpack and School Supply Drive from July 1st to August 15, 2020. Donation Options Include:
• Text to Give: Text PBCBackpack to 41444
• Online:
• Check Donations
• Amazon Wish List purchases
Success starts with you: Join the movement, collect supplies, and donate today!

About the Education Foundation of Palm Beach County, Inc.
The Education Foundation of Palm Beach County is the nexus of Palm Beach County’s public-school system, the private sector, and the community. The Education Foundation facilitates student achievement by supporting high-quality public education through partnerships, grants, events and public awareness. Visit to learn more about how the Education Foundation supports the students, teachers, principals and schools in Palm Beach County. Join the mission and show your support!

About U.S. Sugar
U.S. Sugar is a farming company that grows sugarcane, citrus, sweet corn and other winter and spring vegetables in South Florida. The company was founded in 1931 by a visionary leader who hailed from a long line of farmers. Since the beginning, the company’s success has been rooted in traditional farming values and respect for the land. Today, the company provides more than 2,500 good-paying American jobs, and its local farmers provide nearly 10 percent of all sugar produced in the United States, up to 250 million glasses per year of premium Florida orange juice and nearly half of Florida’s sweet corn crop.

About Palm Beach County Sherriff’s Office
The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, PBSO, is the largest law enforcement agency in Palm Beach County. With more than 4,000 employees and 1,400 volunteers, the agency provides law enforcement services for more than a million residents in the county's unincorporated areas and in eleven cities. The agency oversees the county jail system, provides security at the county courthouse in West Palm Beach and Palm Beach International Airport. The county has thirty-nine municipalities in total. Some have their own police departments while others have town agencies. The following cities contract with the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office to provide law enforcement services: Belle Glade, Greenacres, Lake Park, Lake Worth, Loxahatchee/Acreage, Mangonia Park, Pahokee, Royal Palm Beach, South Bay, Town of Loxahatchee Groves and Wellington.

Sheriff Bradshaw is an advocate for the youth. Through our Explorer program, Police Athletic Program (PAL) and Community Outreach Program he is dedicated to build partnerships between youth, law enforcement and the community through recreational and educational programs designed to encourage, enhance and develop good citizenship and improve the quality of life in Palm Beach County.

About the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County Volunteer Center
Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County’s Jewish Volunteer Center is the community connector for high-impact, meaningful volunteer opportunities throughout the Palm Beaches. Founded in 2015, and driven by the Jewish value of tikkun olam (Hebrew for “repair the world) and chesed (kindness), Jewish Volunteer Center connects people of all ages with volunteer opportunities throughout the Palm Beaches. To respond to the Covid pandemic, the center now offers to a comprehensive web portal that connects people with virtual ways to assist high-needs, community-based nonprofit organizations. Visit

About Carrier
Carrier Global Corporation is a leading global provider of innovative HVAC, refrigeration, fire, security and building automation technologies. Supported by the iconic Carrier name, the company’s portfolio includes industry-leading brands such as Carrier, Kidde, Edwards, LenelS2 and Automated Logic. For more information, visit or follow Carrier on social media at @Carrier.

About Two Men and a Truck
Janelle and Joel Dowley, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® West Palm Beach franchise owners, hired TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® Founder Mary Ellen Sheets’ original “two men” in Michigan to move into a new home and were impressed by the service. Years later, their experience prompted them to open the first location of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® in Palm Beach County. For more than a 15 years, the Dowleys and their team have completed thousands of home and business moves, with the hallmark of great customer service. They now serve the region with locations in Wellington and West Palm Beach and a warehouse for climate vaulted storage and designer receiving and are recognized as the premier moving company in the area.

About ICNA Relief
ICNA Relief strives to uplift the underserved in the US through a nationwide network of shelters, food pantries, health clinics, skill development programs, disaster relief services, refugee services and more. ICNA Relief works to build healthy communities, strengthen families and create opportunities for those in despair while maintaining their dignity and advocating for their basic human needs. Website: