Richmond Marketplace will assist local children of families experiencing financial hardship get back to school with all the essentials this year.
The initiative, called Operation Backpack, is a joint program between Richmond Marketplace and St Vincent de Paul Society, sponsored by the Hawkesbury Gazette and Courier, will run until January 17 at Richmond Marketplace.
The shopping centre is urging local residents and businesses to donate new school supplies such as school bags, lunch boxes, pencils, exercise books, pencil cases and other stationery items in the collection bins located in the centre.
St Vincent de Paul Society NSE CEO, Jack de Groot, said his organisation valued education as a key means to "breaking the cycle of disadvantage".
"Many families struggle to afford the costs of new school materials which is why initiatives like Operation Backpack are so important for giving children a more equal start to the school year," Mr de Groot said.
All donated items will be distributed to families in the Hawkesbury region by volunteers from St Vincent de Paul Society, in time for the start of the school year.
Richmond Marketplace is located on March Street in Richmond.
Richmond Marketplace is owned by ISPT and managed by JLL.
St Vincent de Paul Society is a membership and volunteer-based organisation that seeks to assist people experiencing disadvantage and combat social injustice.