Cochrane's Backpack program is starting again on Wednesday, August 17th.

The Town of Cochrane announced it's starting date in a news release Friday afternoon.

"The long-running program aims to ease the stress and costs associated with starting a new school year by providing students grades K through 12 with important back-to-school supplies. With the help of this program, gearing up for school doesn’t have to be so stressful."

Family Resource Network Coordinator with the FRN Wendy Farnsworth says that the FRN is partnering with two different donors this year.

"This year our partners are Staples and the Kiwanis Club of Cochrane and we're currently accepting donations for the backpack program at the FRN which is located at 127 1st Ave. Cochrane Staples has been accepting backpack donations and they're located at 40 Quarry St East, so Staples is the organization that will be providing us with the backpacks and this year we'll get 100 and they're pre-made, and then the Kiwanis Club of Cochrane and other public donations go towards purchasing staples gift cards, which can be used for additional items."

In order to qualify for the program, parents or guardians just have to "Show proof of enrolment in a Cochrane or West Rocky View County school and GST documentation listing dependent children. Residents without proper documentation, can call to book an appointment with a resource worker at the FRN at 403-851-2265." According to the towns release.

The program started in 2009 and has seen significant growth since then says Farnsworth.

"Last year we provided 140 backpacks to students that were enrolled in Cochrane schools and rural schools within West Rocky View County. But we started back in 2009 and at that time we were able to help about 70 students. As our community has grown, so have the numbers that are coming to the backpack program each year."

In addition to the backpack program Farnsworth says the FRN will be hosting a back-to-school event on Tuesday, August 23rd from 6:00-8:00 p.m. at the FRN's office.

"The FRN and some of our community partners are offering a free back to school event for all families intended to help prepare for a successful school year... The event will be packed with fun activities and information will also be available on support and resources for families."

In the not too distant future the FRN will be doing another fundraiser this time directed at finding warm winter clothing for families in need says Farnsworth.

"Watch out for our Jacket, Racket event which is coming up this fall on Saturday, October the 29th and we'll be looking for donations of gently used and clean winter clothing for people of all ages starting in October"

If you are interested in donating items, or wish to volunteer with the FRN you can get in contact with the FRN via phone 403-851-2265.