The tight economy is making it difficult for many families to purchase school supplies.
Salvation Army said 900 families in Mankato alone are in need of help getting supplies for the start of school.
Salvation Army spokeswoman Annette Bauer said chapters around the state are busy collecting book bags, paper and pencils. She said the organization hopes to turn a request for help into a springboard to more financial stability for the families in need.
Bauer said high food and gas prices have hurt many families. She said anyone interested in donating to the back-to-school program can contact the Salvation Army.