Frequently Asked Questions

Who We Are

What does your organization do?

Kids In Need Foundation believes every child in America deserves equal opportunity and access to a quality education. As a national nonprofit, Kids In Need Foundation focuses on creating equity in education by providing school supplies and learning tools to under-resourced teachers and students nationwide with a focus on schools with a student enrollment of 70 percent or more participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).

Last year we support 5 million students and 205,000 teachers in underserved schools with the supplies they need.

What is your mission? 

By partnering with teachers and students in under-resourced schools, we provide the support needed for teachers to teach and learners to learn.

What are your programs?

Kids In Need Foundation operates four key programs to mobilize efforts to ensure all students have equal opportunity and access to a quality education:

  • National Network of Resource CentersConnects more than 40 partner organizations across the country to help distribute much-needed school supplies to local under-resourced teachers and students in schools with a high percentage of students participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP).
  • Supply A Teacher: Provides teachers in underserved schools with a semester’s worth of essential school supplies for their class of students.
  • Supply A Student:  Provides a backpack filled with school supplies to a student in need. While individuals can provide support for students, this program inspires groups and companies to come together to host backpack builds, fundraise to adopt an underserved school, or provide company match programs.
  • Second Responder®: Provides supplies to teachers and students affected by natural disasters. KINF works with local authorities, schools, and sponsors to help students return to their routines with the tools they need to continue their education.

How do you distribute your products?

Product and school supplies are distributed through Kids In Need Foundation's National Network of Resource Centers and foundational programs, as well as through partnerships with school districts. 

What type of partners do you work with to execute your mission?

We partner with generous brands, companies, and individuals who understand the need to give back and ensure all students have the supplies they need to learn. Check out our presenting sponsor page to see previous and this year's partners.

Who We Serve

Can KINF donate school supplies directly to my children?

Our programs provide supplies directly to under-resourced schools. We encourage you to connect with your child’s teacher, counselor, or principal about supplies for your child or for other local resources that could assist you.

If educators at your school express interest, we can connect with them to see if schools in their district meet the criteria to receive support from our programs. 

My students attend charter schools; do you have options for them as well?  

The resource centers mostly serve schools in their local communities where 70 percent or more of students are enrolled in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). Please check to see if there is a resource center in your area that supports your school.

Can you send my homeschooled children school supplies?

At this time we do not offer programs for homeschooling families, as our programs are designed to work directly with teachers and schools. 

We recommend reaching out to your local community social worker for available resources.

I’m a teacher. How do I apply to receive school supplies?

Teachers can receive products via our resource centers.  For teachers who do not have a resource center nearby, they can apply to Kids In Need Foundation's Supply A Teacher program, as well as apply for our retail programs. Driven by our generous partners, Kids In Need Foundation's retail programs offer an opportunity for teachers in underserved schools to receive free items for their classrooms. As our retailers transition seasonal items and make shifts in inventory, those products are set aside to be donated to local, under-resourced schools.

How do I get school supplies from a Resource Center?

Each member of the National Network of Resource Centers operates under its own unique guidelines for distributing supplies, focusing on supporting teachers and students in schools with an enrollment of 70 percent or more participating in the National School Lunch Program (NSLP). Please contact the resource center closest to you to find out how to shop.

Can I get school supplies for my students if my school is not near a Resource Center?

We encouraged teachers from schools not serviced by the National Network of Resource Centers to apply for Kids In Need Foundation's Supply A Teacher program. We accept applications year-round.

Will KINF donate school supplies to my supply drive?  

We happily encourage school supply drives and offer support through best practices and printable poster and banner ideas. Check out our DIY School Supply Drive tips if you need help getting started. At this time, we are not able to provide supplies directly to you, as our school supplies are delivered to teachers and schools through our existing programs.

Will KINF donate or accept school supplies internationally?

While we know there is a great need for school supplies in many parts of the world, our foundation only serves students in the continental United States where the need is still so great. We suggest reaching out to World Vision, one of our partner organizations, for international assistance.

Can I get school supplies for the low-income families at the social service agency I work for?

Each resource center has its own way of distributing school supplies. Please contact the resource center closest to you to see if supplies may be available.

I asked one of your partner organizations for a donation and they told me to contact you. Can I get donations from you?

We partner with a number of organizations that donate supplies to help keep our resource center shelves stocked so teachers can shop for free. If you are a teacher, we encourage you to contact the resource center closest to you and confirm if your school is eligible to participate. Teachers from schools not serviced by the National Network of Resource Centers are encouraged to apply for Supply A Teacher boxes.

Partnering & Donations

How can my organization partner with Kids In Need Foundation to donate backpacks and supplies?

There are many ways an organization can get involved and partner with Kids In Need Foundation. Click here for more information.

How can my company donate to KINF?

Your organization can donate to Kids In Need Foundation by:

  • Donating product, gifts-in-kind, or cash
  • Hosting a cause marketing campaign
  • Sponsoring a backpack build through our Supply A Student program
  • Hosting a school supply drive
  • Volunteering at a resource center

Learn about the numerous ways to get involved here.

How can my organization donate surplus product?

We could not do what we do every day without generous partners who keep our shelves fully stocked with core supplies. Donations of inventory or surplus supplies may be eligible for tax relief, and we are happy to discuss discontinued product, excess inventory, and product donation partnerships. Be sure to fill out our product donation form. If you are interested in donating smaller quantities, in boxes up to 50 lbs, free shipping may be available thanks to our partnership with Zappos for Good.

How do I donate financially to KINF?

You can donate easily and securely on our website, or you can mail a check to us at 2719 Patton Road, Roseville, MN 55113.

Can I donate printing, shipping, or other in-kind service donations to your organization?

Absolutely, we would love to talk more about what you are willing to contribute. Contact us to learn more or send us an email at info@kinf.org.

Do you support recognized 501(c)(3) charities in the USA?

Kids In Need Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and we partner with members of the National Network of Resource Centers and with schools and school districts to distribute supplies.

Volunteering

How can I volunteer with KINF?

All of our resource centers nationwide operate with the help of dedicated volunteers eager to make an impact. Learn more about volunteering here or by contacting your nearest resource center.

Can you help us start a club at my middle or high school that holds school supply drives?

We encourage you to sign up for our Kids Helping Kids ambassadorship program! Middle and high-school students who are passionate about equity in education are encouraged to join us. Individuals or groups of students can sign up and support our mission by hosting a supply drive or fundraiser! Find out more information here.

How can we connect on social media?

We love hearing from you! Spread our mission with your network by posting photos of you volunteering, shopping, or using your school supplies in the classroom. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook, and check out our hashtags #ItsMoreThanJustABackpack