Backpack Buddies 101
Here’s how we get food into the hands of almost 4,000 children across BC every week.
Many children who come from food-insecure homes rely heavily on school meal programs. However, over the weekend these children may not eat at all until school starts again on Monday. Or their parents may forgo meals so their kids can eat. This is what we call the “weekend hunger gap.” Backpack Buddies addresses this crisis by providing kids with bags of kid-approved meals and snacks every Friday to last them the weekend and beyond.
One bag of food includes meal items, fresh fruit, veggies and snacks. There is enough food to last the entire weekend and beyond. We work hard to ensure that most items in our bags are ready-to-eat, largely non-perishable in case a child doesn’t have access to a fridge, and familiar to kids.
It costs $20 to fill a bag. Each bag contains enough meal items plus fresh fruit, veggies and snacks to last a child the entire weekend and beyond.
The majority of the food we provide in our bags is purchased from our food partners Save On Foods and Sysco. We use our strong buying power to purchase the food at cost or less. We supplement this by purchasing through food rescue companies such as FoodMesh. We also have wonderful supplier partnerships with generous companies like FreeYumm, who contribute in-kind donations to our program.
We pack our food in disposable, biodegradable plastic bags that children can easily put into their backpacks every Friday before they go home. These bags are unlabeled so we can provide support discretely to kids.
How to Receive Food from Backpack Buddies
Are you an educator, community organization or parent that would like to connect a child you know with Backpack Buddies? We’ll answer your questions below.
We work closely with educators, administrators, and social workers in schools and community organizations across BC who advise us on the needs of their students and help identify those who could benefit most from receiving a bag of food every week.
Our trucks and transportation partners drive through Metro Vancouver, Vancouver Island, the Interior of BC, Northern BC and the Sunshine Coast delivering bags of food to recipient schools. The deliveries are met by a school representative who takes them to a discrete location for distribution to students as they head home on Friday afternoons.
Currently, Backpack Buddies works with school districts across BC to distribute bags. If your child attends school in one of the following districts, please connect with an administrator or teacher at the school to find out if the program is available. Your school administrator will contact Backpack Buddies to facilitate signup and distribution. If your child attends school in a district not listed below, please contact us here.
- SD 5: Southeast Kootenay
- SD 6: Rocky Mountain
- SD 8: Kootenay Lake
- SD 20: Kootenay-Columbia
- SD 35: Langley
- SD 36: Surrey
- SD 38: Richmond
- SD 39: Vancouver
- SD 40: New Westminster
- SD 41: Burnaby
- SD 42: Maple Ridge / Pitt Meadows
- SD 43: Coquitlam
- SD 44: North Vancouver
- SD 46: Sunshine Coast
- SD 48: Sea to Sky
- SD 61: Greater Victoria
- SD 62: Sooke
- SD 63: Saanich
- SD 64: Gulf Islands
- SD 68: Nanaimo Ladysmith
- SD 70: Pacific Rim
- SD 71: Comox Valley
- SD 72: Campbell River
- SD 78: Fraser Cascade
- SD 82: Coast Mountains
- SD 84: Vancouver Island West
- SD 85: Port Hardy
Need more bags? Feel like you’re getting too many? No worries – we are happy to adjust your delivery. Please click the button below to be in touch with Lorraine, our Director of Food Access.Connect With Us
Curious about volunteering or giving? Want to do a virtual food drive with your company? We’ve got you covered.
You bet we are. Our Canadian charitable number is: 837443233 RR0001. We are officially called Community First Foundation and we do business as Backpack Buddies.
Yes! We would love to have you join us as a donor. You can make a donation online by clicking the button below, or you can mail us a cheque (made out to Backpack Buddies) to our office at 170 Harbour Avenue, North Vancouver, BC V7J 2E6. We will issue you a charitable tax receipt for your donation.Give Online Now
Yes, you can make a gift to Backpack with your cryptocurrency. With the support of a Canadian-based crypto payment gateway, EukaPay, we are happy to be able to accept all major cryptocurrencies. Click the button below to give through EukaPay.
Absolutely! Through our Pack and Give Back program, we offer our corporate donors the opportunity to bring their team to our North Vancouver warehouse to pack our weekly food bags and learn more about childhood hunger across BC.Learn More
Nourish & Flourish is Backpack Buddies’ online marketplace: your one-stop-shop to choose items from our virtual store you can donate to fill bags for hungry children across BC. Think of it as a food drive, reimagined, where you can shop to donate products to Backpack Buddies from the comfort of your home, workplace or classroom! Take advantage of our buying power to create even more impact with each dollar you give by shopping at Nourish & Flourish. Every dollar you give is 100% tax-receiptable and will be used to feed hungry children across BC.Shop Nourish & Flourish
You bet! We’ve had lots of awesome virtual food drives through Nourish & Flourish. It’s an awesome way to celebrate your birthday, engage your work team, or simply rally friends and family around a common goal. We’ll make you your own campaign page you can share with your community to encourage them to jump in and help feed hungry kids across BC. Contact us to learn more!