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Poverty & Equity Thought Leadership

Families First, Starbucks, Target and Kroger Collaborate on Back-to-School Bash to Help Families Prepare for Back-to-School

The Back-to-School Bash on Saturday, July 24 brought together Families First, Starbucks, Kroger and Target to provide families with many of the essential resources needed to head back to the classroom safely and prepared including school supplies, groceries, and COVID-19 vaccinations. The community celebration focused on family health and education resources, and food accessibility for all families in the Atlanta community.  

“The partnership between Families First, Starbucks, Target and Kroger is a powerful example of the positive change that can happen when nonprofits and corporations work together to improve our communities. More than 600 neighbors benefited from the 500 backpacks and 300 bags of groceries distributed. We are so thankful for Starbucks’ dedication to education, health, and community and to helping Families First promote our mission to build resilient families so all children can thrive,” shared DePriest Waddy, CEO of Families First. “Target helped us make sure our students have the supplies and resources needed to help them succeed this school year and Kroger provided generous food donations for our neighbors.”

The Back-to-School Bash included family experiences and connections to nonprofits focused on health, education and community including:


  • CORE
  • Atlanta Youth Rugby   
  • JLA Kids in the Kitchen 
  • Moving in the Spirit
  • Metro YMCA 
  • Humana 


  • Raising Expectations 
  • NELA
  • JLA Journey to Literacy 
  • MODA 
  • TechBridge 
  • Atlanta CareerRise
  • First Step Staffing


  • Partners in Change
  • PAL 
  • Parents Prosper 
  • Atlanta CareerRise 
  • Metro YMCA 

“At Starbucks, we are about inspiring and nurturing the human spirit – one cup of coffee and one neighborhood at a time. We gave away more than one cup of coffee today via gift cards that were going out earlier, but this is event represents the neighborhood aspect of what we do. At the Black Partner Network, our motto is, ‘Keep it brewing.’ So, we are keeping the spirit and inspiration of Starbucks brewing in every community that we impact, and this is what it’s all about,” shared Wayne Martin, Starbucks, Senior Manager of Government & Community Affairs.

In addition, more than 100 attendees completed the Families First Resiliency Needs Screening to gauge their resilience and how prepared they are to bounce back from life’s challenges. The Families First program teams were also on hand to help neighbors and families navigate how Families First services can help them. 

One of the students in attendance shared with the crowd, “Thank you everybody for the care and love you have for kids.”



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