Metro Nashville Public Schools employees stocked up on hundreds of dollars worth of school supplies on Thursday at no cost to them.

PENCIL hosted a grand opening at its new 6,000-square-foot warehouse.

The nonprofit provides free school supplies to teachers and faculty so they can give them to students in need.

More than 50 percent of students enrolled in MNPS live in poverty. This program helps ensure every child has the tools he or she needs to learn.

“They put up so much of their own money buying school supplies. This just enables them to use that money, funds for other things that they want for their classroom,” said Mitzi Shewmake of Dodson Elementary School.

“In the first year alone, we’ve moved from putting about $300,000 of free high-quality product in teacher hands to putting $1.3 million worth of product into teacher hands,” said PENCIL President/CEO Angie Adams.

This year, PENCIL expects to hand out nearly $2 million worth of supplies.

The Rogers Group donated the new space, allowing them to set up shop rent-free for five years.

Click here to learn more about PENCIL.