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TRAVERSE CITY — Backpacks chock full of brand-new markers, crisp folders and unblemished notebooks waited at Blair Elementary for more than 200 wide-eyed students to snatch them up during the school’s open house.

A shopping spree at Walmart, Meijer or Target wasn’t financially in the cards for many families across Michigan — and the United States — as they prepared for the first day of school. That’s why parents and guardians rely on programs, such as the one at Blair, to provide those day-to-day necessities for their children.

Families with school-aged children were estimated to spend more than $26 billion — or an average of $696.70 per household — on school supplies heading into the 2019-20 school year, according to an annual survey by the National Retail Federation.

Read more at Record Eagle

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