Schools have started up again and many local families are scrambling to get together the necessary materials for each child.
A Levin mum has recognised the demand the beginning of the school year can have on the budget for some parents and caregivers.
Sandra Patterson has organised donation boxes and encouraged anyone shopping for school stationery to donate an extra item or two.
The stationery would be distributed around schools in the district so that when the first term begins they could help any student short of the equipment they needed.
"Even if it's one book to write in," she said.
Ms Patterson said she was moved to action after seeing a Facebook post of a solo father with several children struggling to foot the bill for the necessary equipment to start the school year.
"Even if it's just one book they can start the school year with something and don't feel isolated or embarrassed or different from their peers," she said. "Even if it's a book bag."
She disagreed that the cost of a pen and a few books was affordable for all.
"People might say 'oh it's only $30' but that can be a lot in some cases and for some people they have to multiply by five, and that can be on top of uniforms and shoes and all the other stuff."
"You just don't know what some people's circumstances or situations are and they might not be able to afford it for a whole lot of different reasons."
A school principal the Chronicle spoke to suggested if people want to help they should ring their local school and ask what is needed.
Warehouse Stationery has lists of materials needed for many schools which are available to the public. Donors can buy the materials listed, label the book with school name and year or leave the list inside the bag and hand into the participating businesses.
Donation boxes are set up at Horowhenua Chronicle, Glassworks, and Warehouse Stationery, which also had a list of items that might be in demand.