SEATTLE — While inflation has shown some signs of slowing down after a 40-year high in June, it is still having an impact on the cost of back-to-school supplies.
Consumer prices rose 8.5% in July from a year ago leaving families feeling the pinch.
Prices on basic supplies at big box stores like Target and Walmart on average differ by less than $1, but advocates said even a few cents can make a difference this year.
"The impact of inflation means that their dollar does not go as far for the things that their families need," said Marcia Wright-Soika, the Executive Director of FamilyWorks Resources.
The price of shoes and sneakers for example increased 8% since last year and notebooks and paper by 11%.
Wright-Soika said FamilyWorks is seeing the effects of inflation on their annual school supply giveaway.
"In the last year, we have seen at least an 18% increase in the number of families who are coming in," Wright-Soika said.
As families recover from COVID-19, the pain at the pump and soaring food costs have added salt to the wound leaving parents having to have tough conversations with their kids.
"It's just further kind of making differences between their peers," Wright-Soika said.
Liala Cooney also works with the organization and said overall donations are down with regulars just not being able to give as much this year. A big part of her job is still making sure students feel like the community has their back.
"Opening the backpack and seeing, 'Oh, I have a red folder' and trading with their siblings or their friends that they've met through the community," Cooney said.
While supplies like the price of backpacks increased only slightly up 4% and the price of computers has actually fallen by almost 4%, advocates agree the impact of inflation will be felt long after the first day of school.