Backpack Buddies: Support Hungry Kids During COVID-19
Backpack Buddies was originally started in order to fill the weekend hunger gap for vunerable schoolchildren in Metro Vancouver.
Due to the novel coronavirus, the nearly 1,500 children that they serve won’t be returning to class after their Spring Break as planned. Their parents, who rely heavily on school breakfast and lunch programs, are now scrambling to make ends meet and put food on their tables.
These families are no longer facing a weekend hunger gap – it’s a 7 day hunger gap.
Backpack Buddies is working hard to adjust their program to conintue to distribute food to children and families that need it the most.
Many children in the Lower Mainland’s inner-city schools rely heavily on free or reduced-price breakfast and lunch programs during the school week.
They then go home to meager or no meals on the weekends. This means they are deprived of consistent nutrients and are at risk for serious health problems and learning complications.
Prior to COVID-19, Backpack Buddies addressed this problem by putting much-needed food directly in the hands of the children who need it, sending the children home from school with food for the weekend.
Now, with schools closed, Backpack Buddies is working hard to adjust their program to address the needs of the children and families they support during these unprecdented times by:
- Coordinating with every school district they normally work with to find ways to continue distributing food to children and families that need it.
- North Vancouver families can go directly to the Backpack Buddies warehouse to pick up their bags of food.
- In other communities like East Vancouver and Coquitlam, the Backpack Buddies delivery van will arrange to park at community centres in order to distribute food packages to families out of the back of the van.
- In Surrey, where they are experiencing a sharply rising need for their services, they are committing to providing additional food bags. The Surrey school district will be distributing the bags of food.
- On Vancouver Island they have a new team in place who will look to find ways to reach all our Island schools.
It takes just $15 to cover the costs of an enhanced bag of food for each child. (That’s about 2 garbage bags full of empty beverage containers!) Typically Each backpack is filled with food for all meals for an entire weekend: two breakfasts, lunches and dinners, plus snacks and fresh fruit.
Together we can support the Backpack Buddy initiative and ensure that no child in our community goes hungry.
Donate your refundable beverage containers at any of our lower mainland Bottle Depots.
100% of the refund value of the donated containers will be provided directly to their program.
Join us and combat childhood hunger today! You can also visit the Backpack Buddies website to learn more about how to get involved.