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FREE school supplies in San Diego, CA!

FREE school supplies in San Diego, CA!

Looking for free school supplies and back to school clothes in San Diego, CA? We’re happy to help. I did some searches for this information and this is what I found.


It is against California state law for a school to penalize a student who cannot afford school supplies. While many schools still ask students to contribute needed supplies, the school cannot require them.

“The district is prohibited by the new law from penalizing students who can’t – or won’t – bring supplies. In some cases, students are telling teachers they don’t have to bring supplies from home. According to the new law, they are technically correct in saying so. However, lack of available supplies can strap a financially struggling school district even further.” –Grace Chen

FREE School Supplies in San Diego, CA!

Annual Health Fair & Back to School Kickoff is a great place to find free school supplies, free backpacks and more every year! The 2017 event took place at The O’Farrel Charter School on Saturday, August 19. No-cost health screenings, free supplies and activities are all available!

Gleaning Field Foundation  distributes school supplies on the third weekend in August to families who register in advance. To register, you’ll need to call (760) 945-1003 during the first three weeks of August. They also provide clothing, food boxes and holiday help to low income families throughout their service area. Homeless clients can receive hygiene products, socks, underwear, food bags, sleeping bags, blankets and backpacks from this agency.


PTA Organizations typically have funding for school supplies, field trips and other school expenses. Due to the new California law about school supplies, schools can’t “single out” low income families and tell them about these resources… but they’re still there!

San Diego Church of Christ provides school supplies and backpacks to a limited number of qualifying families. They also provide hygiene kits, clothes and shoes to “poor and homeless” families in San Diego County. Call (619) 312-5850 for more information.

San Diego LGBT Community Center assists with education-related expenses for LGBT youth between the ages of 13 and 24. They can help with school supplies, clothing, books and more. Call (619) 692-2077 ext 125 for more information.

School on Wheels provides backpacks and school supplies to children who are homeless or living in shelters, motels, cars, or campgrounds. These children are also eligible for free weekly tutoring and other services!

VFW Foundation provides help for eligible military families. If you’re having difficulty affording back-to-school costs, you may qualify for a grant to cover the cost of school supplies and clothing! Grants may also be awarded for help with rent, mortgage, repairs, insurance, car payments, insurance, car repairs, food, hygiene items, diapers, formula, medical bills and more.

FREE School Clothes in San Diego, CA!

Operation School Bell provides two free school outfits (including school uniforms) to low income students. You’ll need to contact your school nurse for a referral.

Presbyterian Urban Ministries provides assistance to homeless and low income families in San Diego County. In addition to assistance with clothes and shoes, you may also be able to get help with transportation costs, hygiene items, diapers, work boots, tools, prescription assistance, emergency food, Christmas help and more.


Uptown Community Service Center provides help for the homeless, those at risk of homelessness and low-income families.  Services include clothing, food, hygiene supplies and more.