Elementary school students discover the joy of reading through story time with a teacher.

Wishes Granted: C&S Wholesale Grocers and First Book Deliver More Than 13,000 Brand New Books to Kids in Need

“Book Wish” program is part of decade-long partnership that has delivered more than 350,000 books to kids in need

KEENE, N.H. and WASHINGTON (Nov. 30, 2017) – More than 13,000 brand new, high-quality books and educational resources will be delivered to 160 classrooms and programs by the end of November, serving kids in need as part of the Book Wish program, a collaboration between C&S Wholesale Grocers and First Book. The initiative granted wishes in seven cities: Keene, where C&S is headquartered; Montgomery, Ala.; Hammond, La.; Miami and Orlando, Fla.; and Stockton and Fresno, Calif.; where C&S operates distribution centers.

More than 130 educators submitted book “wishes” earlier this year, describing how books make a difference in the lives of the children they serve. Educators each received $250 to spend on the First Book Marketplace (www.fbmarketplace.org), First Book’s award-winning eCommerce site that provides thousands of brand new books and resources at low or no cost.

“If I received a Book Wish, I would use the books to encourage the love of reading by choosing books that meet the various interests of my students,” said Christina Smith of Castle Creek Elementary in Orlando. “I would love to be able to get the little girl who is in love with horses a few books she could read independently that she will cherish… There is a little boy in my class from Nigeria who loves to read, and would cherish any book that he received. Many of my students have a love for reading, and I would love to be able to give them a gift that they could cherish—a start to their very own home libraries.”

“Educators spend an average of $600 annually out of their own pockets on books and school supplies—and many spend much more,” said Jane Robinson, First Book’s chief strategy officer and chief financial officer. “Every Book Wish provides a window into an educator’s deep commitment to the kids they serve and reminds us of how we felt in childhood when a gift from a caring, generous adult made us feel safe, connected, and hopeful.”

Book ownership and a print-rich environment are leading indicators of a child’s educational success, but for the 32 million children growing up in low-income families in the U.S., books are scarce. A recent study found that in one low-income neighborhood, there was only one book for more than 800 children, whereas in moderate income neighborhoods, there are 13 books for every one child. In a 2016 poll of First Book’s more than 350,000 educators who exclusively serve kids in need, more than 80 percent reported they would have few or no resources without First Book.

“C&S deeply values education and is invested in ensuring as many kids as possible have access to the highest quality resources,” said Richard B. Cohen, chairman and CEO. “The Book Wish program, and our partnership with First Book, is a natural extension of our core beliefs. We are so glad we can grant wishes.”

C&S has invested in the mission and work of First Book since 2007.


About C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc.
C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc., based in Keene, NH, is the largest wholesale grocery supply company in the U.S. and the industry leader in supply chain innovation. Founded in 1918 as a supplier to independent grocery stores, C&S now services customers of all sizes, supplying more than 14,000 independent supermarkets, chain stores, military bases, and institutions with over 140,000 different products. To learn more, please visit www.cswg.com.

C&S community involvement programs support initiatives to fight hunger and to promote the health and enrichment of communities that are homes to the company’s employees and facilities. To learn more, please visit http://community.cswg.com.

About First Book
First Book transforms the lives of children in need. Through a sustainable, market-driven model, First Book is creating equal access to quality education—making everything from brand new, high-quality books and educational resources, to sports equipment, winter coats, snacks, and more—affordable to its member network of more than 350,000 educators who exclusively serve kids in need. Since 1992, First Book has distributed more than 170 million books and educational resources to programs and schools serving children from low-income families in more than 30 countries. First Book currently reaches an average of 3 million children every year and supports more than one in four of the estimated 1.3 million classrooms and programs serving children in need. With an additional 1,000 educators joining each week, First Book is the largest and fastest-growing network of educators in North America exclusively serving kids in need.

Eligible educators, librarians, providers, and others serving children in need can sign up at firstbook.org/register. For more information, please visit firstbook.org or follow the latest news on Facebook and Twitter.