Fairfield Social Services collects back-to-school gift cards for struggling families

The Fairfield Social Services Department may take up a small space at the back of the town's senior center but the work it does has a big impact on those struggling financially.
Among one of the most popular services is the back-to-school program. The department is collecting gift cards which will be given to parents who need extra help making sure their kids have everything they need before the first day of class.
Human and Social Services Director Julie DeMarco says helping families with their back-to-school needs is something the department has been doing for two decades.
"Traditionally, it was a program where we provided backpacks and school supplies. But we found it was a better mode, especially going into COVID, to have gift cards available to families, to pick their own supplies," she said. 
DeMarco says the program serves around 130 families a year. That number is expected to climb this year.
"We're finding that there is requests for grocery cards as well because coming off summer with no free lunch of schools, and prices going up, families are struggling," she said.
Gift cards can be dropped off at the front lobby of the senior center until Sept. 15.