When you give to Backpack Buddies, you support moms like Allison
Allison works 32 hours a week managing the reception and billing at a Vancouver chiropractic and massage clinic. She lives in Burnaby and volunteers at the local school and at the local daycare. She is the daughter of a Hereditary Chief and a mother to three growing children.
And she’s doing it all as a single mother.
“The kids’ dads were abusive,” she says candidly. “It was violent and I knew that I couldn’t raise my kids with that kind of threat, so we left.”
For the past six years, Allison has been raising her children - 18, 10 and 6 years old - on her own. She shuttles them daily from their home in Burnaby to their schools and daycare in East Vancouver.
“I love their schools because they have programs that round out their education, and a really vibrant community of people who support each other,” she says. “A lot of us are struggling though - but we all lean on one another.”
She was first introduced to Backpack Buddies in 2012/13 when the program started delivering food bags to her kids’ elementary school.
“The first time they brought their Backpack Buddies home, I was so thrilled. They don’t always eat the food right away, but it’s there for the moments we need it the most.”
The non-perishable items in the Backpack Buddies are saved for the end of the month when, almost monthly, Allison runs out of money just a few days before payday.
“It’s embarrassing when I can’t feed my three kids,” she says. “I work hard, but the bills add up and sometimes we don’t quite make it to payday at the end of the month.”
People used to tell Allison to go to the Foodbank, but she says it’s harder than it sounds.
“The Foodbank is only open during the day - while I’m working and the kids are at school,” she explains. “It makes it virtually impossible to get there in time when we need their support.”
For her and her family, Backpack Buddies is exactly what they need to make sure stomachs are full every day of the month.
“Backpack Buddies eases the pressure on me as a single mom and on us as a family. They quietly and generously back us up and get us to payday, making sure my kids are fed properly so they can grow.”