BOSTON (CBS) - They're helping school kids and their families with everyday supplies many of us take for granted, and it's making a big difference. The non-profit Catie's Closet provides toiletries through a unique Boston partnership that works hand-in-hand with the city's public school meals program.
The van from Catie's Closet unloaded supplies at the Mildred K-8 School in Mattapan Tuesday, while at Dorchester's Lee School parents made pick ups. The public schools are among 17 meal sites in the city supplying breakfast and lunch to students who are studying from home.
"As families come up every day we ask them if they need toiletries," says Monique Pruitt from the Boston Public Schools food and nutrition service.
That's the plus here, toiletries provided by Catie's Closet.
"Through these meal sites we're able to provide key toiletries, soap, most critical during this pandemic. Shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrushes and even feminine products for our families," says Mickey Cockrell who heads Catie's Closet.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, Catie's Closet ran free stores inside schools where young people could get clothes and toiletries. It's an innovative way to fight chronic absenteeism.
"We found that students weren't coming to school because they didn't have access to the most basic necessities," Cockrell explains. But after COVID-19 kept students out of schools, they had to adapt.
"We had to change our mode of service," says Cockrell.
Now those families can pick up what they need. People like Jeremy Colon who gets supplies for his parents who are caring for 3 foster children who are BPS students.
"I think it's amazing, honestly. Having initiatives like this really brings people together and makes you feel like people really care," he told WBZ-TV.
Catie's Closet also delivers supplies to people who can't easily leave their homes.
For more information, visit their website.
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