Back to School: Clothing vouchers make a difference

It is time, already to start thinking about back-to-school shopping — particularly for parents who might have to plan a little more carefully for such spending. Some West Virginia families are going to need a little help getting their kids set for the school year. Beginning Monday they can get it.

“Starting a new school year is stressful enough as it is for our children and their parents, the last thing that they should be worried about is whether or not they’ll have a new outfit to wear,” Gov. Jim Justice said. “Our school clothing allowance program is so very important because it allows many of our students to get new clothes that fit so they can be comfortable and can focus on excelling in the classroom.”

West Virginia’s Department of Health and Human Resources Division of Family Assistance administers the program, which gives $200 clothing (or piece goods, for those who sew) vouchers per child. Families with kids who are part of the WV Works program and children in foster care automatically get them. Families whose children received vouchers last year, or who are receiving Medicaid or SNAP benefits will automatically receive applications.

But families could also be eligible if the monthly income for a family of four does not exceed $2,146. There is a list of stores where the vouchers can be used, through the end of October.

Last year, more than 98,000 Mountain State kids got a little help starting the school year right. If you have any memory at all of what it was like to be a school-aged child, you know what a difference that might make in their lives. Kudos to the DHHR for making this program happen for West Virginia kids.