Bartell launches school supply drive

Seattle-based regional chain collects supplies for kids in need

SEATTLE — Bartell Drugs' is partnering with manufacturers in its eighth annual school supply donation drive, the retail pharmacy chain said Tuesday.

Bartell, which operates 58 stores in Washington state's Puget Sound region — the metropolitan area around Seattle — said it would collect donated school supplies at all of its stores from Friday through Aug. 28. The chain is partnering with suppliers Mead, Avery and Bic to support the drive.

The supplies will be given to the Kids in Need Resource Center, where teachers with students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunch programs can "shop" for free school supplies to meet students' needs. The center served 120 schools in the Puget Sound region last year, with an average pickup of $700 in donated items for each of the nearly 2,500 teacher visits. According to World Vision, a charity based in Federal Way, Wash., as many as 58,000 students in the area could start the school year without basic supplies.

"With so many area children lacking basic school supplies, there's never been a more important time to support this drive," Bartell chairman and CEO George Bartell said. "Over the past seven years, we've appreciated the support by our customers and the public for their donations."

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