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Apple Tree reaches its goal

Profile image for By Britney Tabor
By Britney Tabor

Donations help project outfit 1,500 students for new school year

An official with Interfaith Ministries of Denton said the nonprofit agency has met its Apple Tree Project donation goal, which will allow distribution of backpacks, school supplies, clothing and shoes to 1,500 needy schoolchildren in Denton next month.

Each year since 1996, the Apple Tree Project has provided school supplies and other necessities for low-income children in time for a new school year. This year, Interfaith Ministries of Denton will have its annual distribution event Aug. 9, and families who have already registered and been approved for the program will receive back-to-school essentials.

Lehia Hill, outreach and development associate for Interfaith Ministries, said the start of a new school year can be stressful for economically disadvantaged children, and helping them be prepared for the big day can help relieve some of their worries.

“It’s really awesome,” she said. “I’m excited to be able to help them start their school year off on a level playing field.”

Sharon Cox, a spokeswoman for the Denton school district, said that 11,399 of the 26,200 children enrolled in school the last week of the 2013-14 year were offered free or reduced-cost lunches. Students from low-income households qualify for free or reduced lunch assistance.

Local businesses, churches and other locations serve as host sites for the Apple Tree Project, which encourages people to pick “apples” designated for a specific child and donate clothing in the child’s size. Backpacks, school supplies and shoe gift cards are purchased for the children with monetary donations received by Interfaith Ministries.

Hill said donations are accepted throughout the year, and monetary and gift card contributions for clothing and shoes are always needed.

For more information, call 940-565-5479.

BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876 and via Twitter at @BritneyTabor.