Program Updates

The New Hunger Gap

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Wow – what a wild week it’s been for all of us. 

Does every day kind of feel like a never ending Saturday? The whole family at home. All day. More TV time than usual, toys all over the floor, crumbs on the couch cushions that have already been configured into three different forts this morning. 

Many of us are trying to find the silver linings in this crisis. We’re trying to savor the extra time with family and enjoy the simplicity of being at home. 

But home can be a stressful place for a lot of kids  – especially when there isn’t enough food. 

You’ve probably heard us talk about the weekend hunger gap before – that’s the two days between school weeks that kids are at home without access to the hot breakfast and lunch programs provided by schools across the province. For parents who struggle to keep food on the dinner table every night, those two days without support from the school can be really hard. 

Starting this Monday when school should have resumed, the pressure of that hunger gap will be felt every single day by vulnerable kids. What was once a 2 day hunger gap is now 7 days long. 

At Backpack Buddies, we’ve been working frantically to find new and more secure food sources and figure out how we’re going to step up to help. We know that we can’t say no to the kids who need us now more than ever. 

With one week left to go before the needs of hungry BC kids effectively triple, we’ve got the bones of a plan. Here’s what we’ve got in place so far: 

  • We are coordinating with every school district we normally work with to continue distributing food to children and families that need it.
  • In North Vancouver, families will come to our warehouse to pick up their bags of food.
  • In other communities like East Vancouver and Coquitlam, the Backpack Buddies delivery van will park at community centres and distribute to families out of the back of our vans.
  • In Surrey, we are committing to additional food bags to meet the rising need in this community. Because of the high volume of food needed, the school district will be distributing the bags of food themselves.
  • We’re working with our new team on Vancouver Island to find ways to reach all our Island schools.

If you’d like to help us stretch our resources to cover the 7 day hunger gap, you can contribute with an online donation. Unfortunately, we can’t take food donations as it’s simply too hard to keep our staff, volunteers and YOU safe when coordinating the logistics of food drop off and sorting. 

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