A local supermarket group has donated 140 school backpacks full of essential items in a bid to give disadvantaged primary school children the best start to their school year. Rigters Supermarkets joined the Dandelions WA Back to School project, a registered charity providing brand new school bags with all the must-haves a student needs heading into the school year. The backpacks cost $50 each and come packed full of items, including a pencil case, all stationery needs, a library bag, lunch box, hat and water bottle. A total of 140 backpacks will be handed out to Allendale, Beachlands, Bluff Point and Mt Tarcoola primary schools by the Rigters family next week. Rigters Group general manager Kyme Rigter said after discovering the donations would be distributed to local students, the Rigters family couldn’t say no to supporting the fundraiser. “We came on board and helped fund the cost of some of these backpacks which will be delivered to Geraldton kids,” he said. “The littlies always get excited opening things, but if they haven’t got the opportunity, they will get a bag full of school essentials. It’s pretty rewarding just to see the look on their face and knowing they aren’t at a disadvantage when the school year starts.” Demand for backpacks has increased each year since Dandelions WA was established in 2020. In 2021, the charity handed out 220 bags and in 2022 it handed out 934. Last year, the fundraiser distributed 6795 backpacks to primary and secondary school students across WA.