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Chestnut helps prepare students for back-to-school with supplies giveaway

Chestnut Health Systems™ MetroLink team is partnering with St Clair County Transit District to host a back-to-school event. Anyone who needs back-to-school supplies can stop by from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, August 4 at the 5th and Missouri station (150 N. 6th Street, East St. Louis, Ill.).

During the event, designed to help ease the added strain on parents’/guardians’ pocketbooks, Chestnut staff will give away back-to-school supplies and the Chestnut mobile health unit will provide back-to-school physicals. If your child needs a physical, please call (618) 512-1863 to schedule an appointment to help shorten the wait time. However, an appointment is not required. Chestnut health navigators will also be available to discuss Chestnut Family Health Center services and answer basic health-related questions, for example, vaccines and COVID.

“Our MetroLink team in St. Clair County has a quarterly community event that focuses on different community needs,” said Emily Schwaegel, behavioral health outreach coordinator at Chestnut. “This time we wanted to focus on the needs of children as the new school year begins. We thought a school supply drive to provide children with the basic tools they need to succeed was important.”

Those who want to donate notebooks, pencils, crayons, glue, glue sticks, book bags, and folders can drop items off at any of these locations prior to the event:

  • Chestnut Health Systems locations at 50 Northgate Industrial Dr., Granite City, Ill.; 12 N. 64th St., Belleville, Ill.; or 106040 Business Highway 21, Hillsboro, Mo.
  • Swansea Police Department 1400 North Illinois St., Swansea, Ill.
  • Fairview Heights Police Department 10027 Bunkum Rd., Fairview Heights, Ill.
  • Tapestry of Community Offerings (TOCO) 825 W. Main St., Belleville, Ill.
  • East St Louis Mayor’s Office 301 River Park Dr., East St. Louis, Ill.
  • St Clair County Sheriff’s Department 700 N. 5th St., Belleville, Ill.

More than 19 percent of children in St. Clair County live in poverty (kidscount.org). Some parents plan to spend up to $661 to get their children ready for back to school, which is an eight percent increase over last year. (Deloitte.com) These numbers are foreboding as some parents try to balance how to pay utilities, rent, and other household bills and, at the same time, buy supplies for their school-age children.

The Chestnut MetroLink team specializes in behavioral health and works alongside Metro Transit security personnel to provide behavioral health resources and assistance to individuals who may be impacted by mental health and/or substance use issues.

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