The Department of Health and Social Services is asking residents to considering helping students in need get off to a good start this school year by participating in the annual Adopt-A-Student program.

DHSS, in partnership with the Human Services Council Inc., is seeking individuals, businesses and organizations to help children living in poverty or in low-income households by providing backpacks, school supplies and gift cards to purchase uniforms. The deadline for donations is Aug. 3.

“Providing resources and support for low-income students has always been high on my list of priorities,” said Gov. John Carney. “The work done by the Adopt-A-Student program — thanks to the generosity of sponsors and donors — helps make sure all Delaware children are ready to start learning with the first school bell of the year. I urge Delawareans to donate to Adopt-A-Student so our most vulnerable students are ready to take that next step toward success.”

Designed to encourage a positive attitude toward school by helping with the supplies students need to achieve success, Adopt-A-Student accepts backpacks, school supply donations and $50 gift cards to retail stores that carry school uniforms such as Forman Mills, Rainbow and Walmart.

To “adopt” a student or make a donation, contact the closest Adopt-A-Family office. In New Castle County, call 792-6510 or email sharon.brown@state.de.us. In Kent and Sussex counties, call 424-7260 or email elizabeth.senato@state.de.us. Donation hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

Any donor who needs to drop off donations outside of these hours may call either office for an accommodation.

For more, visit adoptafamilyde.org.