WOODSFIELD — The Monroe County Department of Job and Family Services is helping send students back to the classroom with new attire for the school year with its annual “Back to School Clothing Program.”
Eligible families will be able to purchase more clothing and shoes after the program received an increase in funding this year. The program provides clothing vouchers for income-eligible families living in Monroe County.
Jeanette Schwall, director of the Monroe County Department of Job and Family Services, discussed the program during Monday’s Monroe County Board of Commissioners’ meeting. She said eligible families will receive a $500 clothing voucher for Gabe’s along with a $200 shoe voucher that can be spent at the Shoe Department. Both stores are located at the Ohio Valley Mall in St. Clairsville.
Each eligible child in the household, ages 3-18, will receive the vouchers which are good for clothing, shoes, coats, undergarments, socks, belts, backpacks, and lunch boxes. Items that can be purchased at the Shoe Department include shoes, socks and backpacks.
Schwall said the shopping dates have now been extended until Oct. 31 to allow additional time for families to use the vouchers.
To qualify for the vouchers, the family must be a county resident, have at least one minor child residing in the home who is enrolled in Kindergarten through 12th grade, and meet income guidelines. A gross monthly income chart is available on the department’s website.
In addition to the clothing program, there are also funds available for eligible residents through the COVID Hardship Program. The county received $99,000 through the Prevention, Retention and Contingency Plan to help fund the program. Schwall said there is one application for both the clothing voucher and hardship programs. Families who are eligible to receive the clothing vouchers will also be eligible for the hardship program, she said.
The amount of funding each family will receive will be determined once the department is able to calculate how many families are in need. Schwall said they plan to divide the funds equally among the eligible families.
“We’ll figure out at the end how much each family will be getting then we’ll mail them a check for whatever the dollar figure is,” she added.
Last year, 276 families were approved to receive vouchers through the Back to School Program.
“It doesn’t mean it will be the same this year. … If there were 300 families eligible, they would get $330 per household,” she said.
Applications for the programs can be found on the county DJFS website at Monroecountyjfs.com.
In other matters, Mary Jo Westfall, associate of the Monroe County OSU Extension Office, opened bids for the walking trail improvements. The estimated $125,654 project is funded through the Community Development Block Grant.
Only one bid was received for the project — Shelly & Sands out of Rayland for $221,009. Westfall noted that the bid is more than 10% over the estimated cost. She said she will confer with the village of Woodsfield before making her recommendation.