Back-to-school shopping to cost more due to inflation

CHARLOTTE — With the summer months winding down, parents are quickly turning their attention to back-to-school shopping. Ashley White, of Gastonia, is dreading the idea of buying school supplies for her three kids come August.

“It’s the first year I have had all three of these in school,” White said. “I’m dreading it.”

Inflation is the main reason for concern for White and others gearing up to buy the new supplies. According to the National Retail Federation, parents will pay $15 more for school supplies this year than a year ago because of inflation. Families will pay $168 more than 2019, a year before the pandemic.

With daily costs such as gas prices, groceries, rent and mortgage all up and salaries not moving much, buying school supplies will be a hassle.

For White, she has been preparing for the hike in prices.

“I’m going to have to pay this in August, I’m going to have to start thinking about that in June,” White said.

Karen Calder, the executive director of Classroom Central, told Channel 9 not all families will be able to properly plan.

“It’s just going to be out of reach for so many of our families,” Calder said.

Channel 9 and several other groups work with Classroom Central to collect school supplies for children in need. Calder said the biggest give goes to children on free and reduced lunch in Mecklenburg County and five neighboring counties. That’ totals 127,000 children.

“That will fill every seat in Bank of America Stadium, every seat in Truist Ball Park, every seat in Spectrum Area and every seat in PNC Pavilion combined,” Calder said.

That’s how many more families may have trouble getting school supplies.

Classroom Central said they will need more donations and volunteers to help meet that need this year.

>> For more information on Channel 9 School Tools collection benefiting Classroom Central, click here.

(WATCH BELOW: Gas prices take double-digit drop in Carolinas, around nation as inflation surges)