“School Clothes For Kids” program will go forward this year, but with some changes

Belmont County

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Parents in Belmont County whose children qualify for Job and Family Service’s “School Clothes For Kids” program will notice some changes this year.

The shopping days will be spread out over several weeks, to allow Ohio Valley Mall merchants to be able to personally serve each child.

And applications will only be taken online or by mail this year.

Last year, the School Clothes For Kids program was held, but it was right in the middle of the pandemic.

So some things didn’t work the same.

There were rules about handling clothes that had just been tried on, that store employees had to comply with.

Plus, the need for school clothes was much lower, when many kids were not in school.

“Many schools were in virtual mode,” recalled Jeffrey Felton, director of Belmont County Job & Family Services. “So a lot of the families told us their kids really weren’t going to school, and they told us to let someone else who really needs the clothes take advantage of the program. And then the merchants, if somebody tried on some clothing, they had to set it aside for 24 to 48 hours before they could put it back on the racks. So it appeared they didn’t have very much inventory.”

This year, families can apply online at BelmontCDJFS.com or pick up an application at the Job and Family Service office or the Ohio Means Jobs office in Martins Ferry, fill it out and mail it back.

Each family who qualifies will get their shopping day and time assigned to them.

And they are asked to wear a masks while at the mall.

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