Project Fresh Start

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Project Fresh Start

Project Fresh Start distribution will take place at Ben Franklin Junior High School in Stevens Point on Saturday, Aug. 13, 2016. A separate distribution for students of Almond-Bancroft schools will be held Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016, at the school in Almond.

Registration forms and informational materials for families can be found line at

Project Fresh Start is a program of the United Way of Portage County Volunteer Center. Its purpose is to provide necessary school supplies to students in Portage County who qualify for the free or reduced price meal program.

The start of a new school year means buying school supplies. For lower-income families, it can be a time when money is tight. Project Fresh Start depends on the support of our community to help provide school supplies to students in need. This year, more than 3,000 students are eligible to participate in this program.

Beginning in July, individuals, businesses, churches and other groups will collect school supplies to drop off at designated sites throughout the community. All of these supplies will be collected between August 8-12 and taken to Ben Franklin Junior High in Stevens Point to be sorted and distributed to students on Saturday, Aug. 13. A second event for Almond-Bancroft Schools will be held there on Aug. 30. Last year, more than 1,000 students received school supplies through the program. The remaining school supplies were distributed to Portage County schools and affiliate programs serving approximately 100 additional students.

Project Fresh Start works with Portage County organizations and schools to identify eligible K-12 students who live or go to school in Portage County and are in need of school supplies. The qualifications to receive supplies are the same as for the federal free & reduced lunch program. 2016 marks the eighth year that supplies will be offered to ALL grades, from K-12.  In 2015, approximately $62,000 worth of school supplies was distributed.

Organizations, groups or businesses may participate by holding their own internal collection and be a Drive Partner. They can also choose to be a Drop Site Partner.  These are generally high traffic locations where community members can drop off school supplies. For information about how to hold a drive, be a drop site or to see what groups are already participating, go to VOLUNTEERSROCK.ORG.


  • Eligible participants should complete a registration form by Friday, July 29
  • Forms are available at school offices, the United Way office, and online at VOLUNTEERSROCK.ORG.
  • Almond-Bancroft Students can register on-site at the Almond-Bancroft School on August 23

All students in grades K-12 receive a backpack, if needed. Students also receive pencils, pens, markers, colored pencils, glue, a pencil bag or box, highlighter, ruler, scissors, notebooks, folders, binders, loose-leaf paper, and other items according to individual grade requirements. For a complete list of supplies being collected, go to VOLUNTEERSROCK.ORG.

Supplies that we often fall short of in collecting include: backpacks for older grade levels, red pens, black dry erase markers, sharpies, protractors, pencil cases, index cards and compasses.

We need A LOT of help to assist with drop and drive sites and to sort and distribute supplies during the week of August 13. Starting June 1st, individuals may view and sign up for volunteer opportunities online at VOLUNTEERSROCK.ORG

Cash or check donations are being accepted at the United Way of Portage County Volunteer Center. Donations to support Project Fresh Start can be sent to: Project Fresh Start, 1100 Centerpoint Drive, Suite 302, Stevens Point, WI  54481.

Contact the United Way of Portage County Volunteer Center at 715-341-6740 or email

Events Date: 
Saturday, August 13, 2016 - 06:00