RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The countdown until kids in Wake and Durham Counties head back to the classroom is on, and back-to-school supply shopping is in full swing.

But with record inflation, getting school supplies together is a bit more expensive this year. 

“The prices are going up,” said Alexandra Mitchell, a Wake County mom.

The Nation Retail Federation reported parents will be spending about $168 more on school supplies this year than they did before the pandemic. 

The NRF also reported about one-third of consumers plan to cut back on other expenses to help save for back-to-school supplies. 

“Now is kind of hard times, because of inflation. I believe most low-income families, we need help,” added El Sayed Rabie. 

It’s a problem many families in the Triangle are facing. To help, the City of Raleigh Parks and Rec partnered up with Wake County officials for a backpack giveaway at John Chavis Memorial Park on Saturday.

One by one, kids and their parents were able to pick out a new backpack to start the school off on the right foot. 

“They love school and they can’t live without education,” said Mitchell.

Mitchell and Rabie were both at the event and told CBS 17 they were grateful for this opportunity. 

“When people are having heartaches and our economy has changed, we realize there are needs that are not met,” said Grady Bussey, the Director of John Chavis Memorial Park. “[We’re] able to provide the resources and an opportunity for people to obtain them.”

There was also a career fair in a room next to the backpack giveaway, to give parents a place to check out employment opportunities.