LONDON, ONT -- The Thames Valley Education Foundation (TVEF) is putting the call out for donations as they expect an increase in demand for school supplies for students in need due to the pandemic.

The TVEF is teaming with the United Way Elgin Middlesex and the Salvation Army to collect school supplies for families struggling to make end meet.

The effort is through the community-wide Best First Day drive for school supplies.

Last year the drive delivered more than 3,800 backpacks full of supplies to students across London’s two biggest school boards and Indigenous communities.

This year’s demand is expected to grow due to the ongoing effects of the pandemic on the economy and jobs.

The foundation is accepting donations now, which is earlier than usual, in an effort to meet the increasing need.

For information on how to donate click here.

Families or students wishing to receive a backpack should contact their school directly to make a request.