Back-to-school budget challenge for families

Youth success
August 17, 2021 •  By Centraide

Managing the back-to-school budget is a big challenge for some families.  

Their concern is legitimate, especially since some financial supports, such as the Canada Recovery Benefit (CRB), are set to end in the fall.  

Stretching and sometimes going over the family budget to meet children’s school needs can be a source of real stress and anxiety.  

The ACEF help people better manage their finances

Centraide of Greater Montreal invests over $650,000 through five ACEF (Association coopérative d’économie familiale)[1] in the Greater Montreal area to help alleviate people’s financial problems.

These ACEF assist people living on a low income with budgeting and debt issues and work to promote and defend consumer rights. Although their services are meant for the entire population of their territories, the ACEF focus on providing low- and limited-income individuals with the following services:  

  • Individual assistance and consultations about making and applying a budget and managing debt problems. 
  • Courses, information sessions, and awareness and prevention tools about budgeting, credit, debt solutions, savings tips and more. 
  • Mutual assistance funds that help people living on a low income access small, interest-free loans (at some ACEF). 

[1] ACEF de l’Est de Montréal, ACEF Laval, ACEF du Sud-Ouest de Montréal, ACEF du Nord de Montréal et ACEF de la Rive-Sud

Le Regroupement Partage meets the needs of young people

Opération Sac à Dos led by Le Regroupement Partage, an agency supported by Centraide of Greater Montreal, helps students get the best possible start to the new school year.

This year*, the initiative—which received support from the Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF) administered by Centraide—had to adapt to the pandemic health measures and was greatly enhanced to meet the increased demand for assistance. Water bottles and reusable masks were added to the regular backpacks, lunch boxes and new school supplies. The food service was also improved and extended to make sure that family fridges and children’s lunch boxes were filled. 

Exceptionally, Le Regroupement Partage joined up with all sorts of volunteers who helped fill the backpacks with school supplies to make it easier for neighbourhoods to hand them out to children and their families. 

*This information was taken from Le Regroupement Partage’s 2020-2021 activity report available from their website.