Operation Homefront gives hundreds of backpacks to children in military families in Groton

New London

GROTON, Conn. (WTNH) – A “back to school boost” today for hundreds of military families.

We’re only a few weeks away from a new school year and a lot of students in the Groton area are already off to a good start thanks to Operation Homefront.

It’s only August, but it’s already feeling like Christmas at least for several families.

Operation Homefront is where 300 school backpacks are being distributed to military families. Each one is filled with school supplies, giving students a headstart.

“Because of COVID, we pre-packed the backpacks with notes and flash drives for the older kids,” said Kayla Lockyer, Operation Homefront Program Coordinator.

This program has been around for about 13 years, saving military families around $50 million in back-to-school expenses. The assistance is also helpful since many of the families are called to move from one location to another at a moment’s notice, leaving little time for school shopping.

“We’re hoping to find any type of school supplies that will help us this year. Paper, pens, markers,” said Lauren Laughlin, Coast Guard.

As students head back to school, COVID-19 and its emerging Delta variant are also concerning.

Operation Homefront is a national program that started in 2009. It’s estimated the organization will hand out 450,000 of the backpacks this year to military families.

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