By Mike DeNardo

WILDWOOD, N.J. (CBS) – Nonprofits and social service agencies at the shore are trying to fill the back-to-school needs of families affected by the Atlantic City casino closings.

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The United Way runs what they call their “Stuff the Bus” program to provide school supplies for children in need. With three casinos closing as schools are opening, demand is up says John Emge, the United Way executive director for Atlantic and Cape May Counties:

“We knew this was coming. So, we certainly along with our partner agencies that we work with, the local governments, have been ramping up to provide support.”

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Emge says 7,700 backpacks and other school items were collected last year. This year, he says, they’re over 10,000, and he says churches, food banks and schools will have to join together to weather the economic storm:

“Sandy was sort of an example for us, that if the community’s going to get through this we can’t be operating in silos. We have to pull together.”

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