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Some of the school supplies that Cooper Farms donated to more than 650 children of team members throughout the company.

OAKWOOD — To kick off this unique 2020-21 school year, Cooper Farms provided school supplies and backpacks to over 650 children of team members across all locations of the company.

The school supply program is something Cooper Farms has done for several years, however this year may have been even more necessary than years past, given the financial state for many families who have taken a hit from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s such an honor to be able to provide these school supplies and backpacks to the kids,” said Kacy Wagner, human resource manager at the Cooked Meats Plant in Van Wert. “Back-to-school shopping can be a financial burden for many families every year, and this year is potentially worse for many families who may have lost income, so we’re happy to help in that way.”

The list of supplies included the typical pens, crayons, markers, glue, notebooks, and even ear buds and headphones. Some locations elected to provide a gift card for families to pick out their own school supplies. This year, there were notable additions of cloth face masks and bottles of hand sanitizer.

“Our school supply list definitely looked a little different this year as kids K-12 are now required to wear face masks in the classroom,” Wagner said. “So now we were able to provide the basic school supplies, as well as help with the new safety guidelines required to keep the kids safe.”

Following distribution of school supplies to individual students, all leftover supplies were divided and sent to area schools.

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