Community Impact Report


Dear Backpack Buddies Community,

We are excited to share our 2022/23 Community Impact Report with you, and show you the difference you have made helping to feed hungry kids across BC this past year. 

It has been a challenging year in our communities, for our province and country. It seems almost daily that food prices are increasing and the cost of living continues to climb. Each day we are seeing more kids struggling with hunger and food insecurity. 

There is hope. Together, with your help, we are rising to meet the needs of children across BC. 

Thanks to your generous support of Backpack Buddies you have put hope on the table for over 5,000 kids in 66 communities this past year. 

When you gave, you helped provide hungry kids with a backpack full of food every Friday to last them the weekend and beyond. It’s more than food though…it’s stability for children, support for their parents, and hope for entire families as they navigate some of life’s greatest challenges.

For many of these kids, your donation means the difference between going hungry over the weekend, or having a full tummy. Hunger doesn’t take a weekend off but clearly neither do you – we see the immense impact you are making daily – thank you!

This Community Impact Report includes highlights and achievements from the past year, stories from kids and families you have helped, and so much more. 

Together we can ensure no child in British Columbia is hungry.

With gratitude, 

Emily-anne King
Co-Executive Director and Co-Founder

Geoff Pedlow, Chair
Joanne Griffiths, President — Co-Founder
Samantha Tennant, Treasurer
Alison Wilson, Director
Sylvie Singer, Director
Ayeesha Lalji, Director
Curtis Clarke, PhD, Director
Adam Segal, Director

Joanne Griffiths, Co-Executive Director and Co-Founder
Emily-anne King, Interim Executive Director and Co-Founder
Lorraine Winchester, Director, Food Access
Laara Losier, Program Coordinator – South Vancouver Island
Diane de Jong, Program Coordinator – Port Hardy and North Vancouver Island
Rachelle MacDougall, Program Coordinator – Central Kootenays
Pat Jenkins, Warehouse and Transportation Manager
Kristoffer Fransson, Warehouse Supervisor
Jamie McCracken – Warehouse Associate 
Jeremy Hunka, Media and Communications Specialist


Families across BC are in crisis. The ever-increasing cost of rent, household expenses and childcare has created an affordability emergency, and it has hit children the hardest. One in five families are at risk of food insecurity. For parents depending on school meal programs to help feed their children, every weekend brings renewed stress and anxiety.

Hunger doesn’t take
the weekend off

Children in food-insecure households often do not eat properly, or at all, on weekends. Consistent hunger, even just over the weekend, can set a child back for life. Children from food insecure households…

  • Are two to four times more likely to have poorer health or a diagnosed chronic condition as they face long-term health challenges.
  • Exhibit higher rates of behavioural problems and psychosocial deficits, and higher levels of anxiety and depression.
  • Experience developmental impairments in areas of language and motor skills and are more likely to repeat a grade.
  • Are more likely to be overweight due to poor diet and overeating due to the unpredictability of food.

We Feed BC’s Most Vulnerable Kids Every Weekend

Every Friday, we ensure that hungry kids across BC have meals and snacks to last the weekend and beyond.

We partner with schools

Our weekly food deliveries are coordinated in partnership with teachers and administrators. They advise us on the needs of their students and confidently identify children who will benefit most from receiving a bag of food for the weekend.

We leverage purchasing power

With over 1.3 million meals passing through our warehouse this year, we leverage our significant purchasing power with large distributors to stretch every dollar. Every week, we feed as many kids as possible.

We team up with donors

We are fuelled by our generous community of donors. Every $20 you give provides one child with a bag of food for the weekend. We welcome companies, individuals and foundations (really, anyone!) to join our donor family.

We feed hungry kids

Every bag of food we deliver is filled with meals and snacks to last the weekend and beyond. Items in our bags are kid-approved and ready-to-eat, and include items like hummus, tuna snacks, seaweed and fresh fruit and veggies.


Bags of Food Delivered


Number of Meals Provided


Pounds of Food Delivered


Number of Kids Reached


Communities Served


Number of Distribution Partners Across BC


New Distribution Partners for the 2022/23 School Year:


Number of Delivery Vehicles


Kilometers Driven


 by our Backpack Buddies drivers

Delivery Partners


(Diamond Delivery; ACE Courier; Bandstra Transportation; Cayuse Flats )

Warehouse in North Vancouver


Distribution Hubs: Tri-Cities, Victoria, Port Hardy/North Island  & Central Kootenays


Meals rescued through food recovery


In the News

Backpack Buddies passionately pushes for change by raising awareness of child hunger and rallying the public to join our cause.
Here are some of our most notable news stories from the past year.

The impact of rising food and grocery prices on families and children.

Watch Now

Backpack Buddies celebrates ten years of serving the community.

Watch Now

Working hard to combat rising food insecurity amongst children.

Watch Now

Soaring inflation worsens the food gap as children prepare to go back to school.

Watch Now

Organizations like Backpack Buddies are bracing for rising food prices and spikes in demand.

Watch Now

Where We Work

There are hungry kids in every corner of our province. We work with a unique and committed network of schools, community leaders and distribution partners to ensure that our bags of food reach the kids who need them.


With the cost of living rising relentlessly, we have needed your help more than ever to get bags of food into the hands of hungry kids in your community and across BC. We asked for your help, and you responded with inspiring generosity—thank you!

Together, we’ve been able to reach more kids than we ever have before — topping out at 5,360 every week in the 2022/23 school year.

You’ve helped us grow

Recently, we caught up with Donna—she’s the Neighbourhood Assistant at Grandview Elementary in East Vancouver. We’ve known Donna for over a decade and in all the years we have partnered together, this past one has been unique. Here’s a snippet of what she shared about the changing needs she sees in her community…

Just this past spring, we increased our weekly delivery from Backpack Buddies from 30 bags to 40 bags of food. There are just so many more people needing help: we are supporting refugees, new Canadians, persistent low-income families, and those that have just recently fallen into that low-income bracket.

Recently, I was handing out the bags of food from Backpack Buddies and a dad came up to the window. He’s from a family that, pre-pandemic, I would’ve considered financially very stable. On this particular day, he was coming to pick up a bag of food for his child. I asked him if everything was okay with him, and he shared with me that the economic climate has rocked them and they’re in a place where they need the extra support that Backpack Buddies provides. It took me by surprise and really brought into focus the challenges that families are facing today.

The world is in a strange place right now. Your support of Backpack Buddies makes it a safer, friendlier place as those who are struggling look for support and a helping hand.

You’re truly making a difference in the lives of the children and families we serve
by putting hope back on the table.


“There have been seasons where I won’t eat so that my kids can.”

Kristy is a single mom with a fixed income living in Langford on Vancouver Island.

“When I don’t have enough food to feed my kids, it’s very hard. The kids can tell when I’m stressed about money and food—I try not to show it but they pick up on it from me and they worry.”

Kristy’s kids aren’t alone. The reality is, there are anxious kids in every corner of our province wondering where their next meal is coming from.

With your help, we are doing something about this.

For the past three years, Kristy’s daughter, Kaliyah, has been coming home from school every Friday with a backpack full of food from Backpack Buddies. The bag is loaded with meals and snacks to last Kaliyah the weekend and beyond. 

“The bags of food from Backpack Buddies provide us with a sense of security and hope. Kaliyah knows that there’s going to be something for her to eat over the weekend—she doesn’t have to worry about that anymore.”

There are over 5,000 hungry children across BC just like Kaliyah who depend on the generosity of people like you. Your continued support over the past year has ensured they receive a bag of food from Backpack Buddies every Friday and hope for the weekend ahead. 

“When we get Backpack Buddies, it feels like someone is looking out for me and my family—I can’t thank you enough.”

Read More Stories



Grants: $1,425,185
Donations: $2,317,526
Other Income: $1,931
Total: $3,744,642


Program: $2,959,842
Fundraising: $392,723
Administration: $136,473
Total: $3,489,038


Adi Mudaliar
Allen and Loreen Vandekerkhove Family Foundation
Altenburg Painting
Ames Family Foundation
Avison Young Canada Inc.
B2Gold Corp
Beedie Foundation
Benefaction Foundation
Blue Shore Financial
Board of Education School District No. 38 (Richmond)
Bread & Butter IO Inc.
Breakfast Club of Canada
Canary Foundation
Caroline Chuba
Century Group Lands Corporation
CFAX Santas Anonymous Society
City of North Vancouver
City of Victoria
CKNW Kids’ Fund
Clifford and Carolyn Davis
Cummins Canada ULC
David Ash Family Foundation
Dinyar Marzban Law Corporation
East to West Leasing LTD
Engel & Volkers
Face The World Foundation
Fernwood Foundation
First West Foundation
Foresters Financial
Galloway Botteselle & Co
GMR Foundation

Headwater Projects
IKEA Canada Ltd Partnership
Inno Foods
Intact Insurance Company
John Schmelke
Koru Pacific Foundation
Krogseth Foundation
Labourers’ Advancement Fund
Landon Barretto
Matthew Nathanson Law Corporation
Michael David Corday
Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food
Mount Seymour Resorts
Nathan King
Nicola Wealth Private Giving Foundation
Norgaard Foundation
P.I. Financial
PCI King George Developments Inc.
Phyliss and Irving Snider Foundation
Progressive Sealing Inc
Province of British Columbia
QuadReal Property Group
Quiet Cove Foundation
RE/MAX Crest Realty
Regency Auto Investments
Regional Recycling
Robert Allan Ltd.
Royal Oak Optometry
Safe Pacific Financial Inc
Saints Peter and Paul Parish
Sharons Credit Union
Stikeman Elliott LLP
Sunshine Coast Credit Union

Tamara Foundation
TELUS Corporation
Telus Friendly Future Foundation
The Annual Foundation
The Connor, Clark & Lunn Foundation
The Francis Family Fund
The Grocery Foundation
The Morris and Helen Belkin Foundation
The Palmer Family Foundation
The ScotiaMcleod Charitable Foundation
The Singing Walrus Music Production
The Sunshine Coast Community Foundation
The Victoria Foundation
The Wheelbarrow Fund
The Wolrige Foundation
Times Colonist Christmas Fund
TL Housing Solutions Ltd.
Townline Homes Inc.
Tweedledum Foundation
United Way of the Lower Mainland
Urban One Management Inc.
Valerie Eluzabeth Reiter
Van Kam Freightways
Vancouver Foundation
Vancouver Fraser Port Authority
Ventana Construction Corp.
Victor and Anna Kern Foundation
Walsh Foundation
Wells Fargo
Wheaton Precious Metals Corp
Whole Foods Market Services, Inc.

ACE Couriers
Free Yumm
Rick’s Heart Foundation

Meet Deb

A Monthly Donor

Deb Love graciously shared the inspiration behind why she is a member of The Friday Club — Backpack Buddies’ monthly donor community.

I was raised in a home that struggled. My mom was a single mother who struggled with alcohol addiction, and at times became violent. I know firsthand what it’s like to go to school with nothing but a macaroni meat sandwich that no one wants or likes.

When I saw Backpack Buddies, my soul wept.

One of my key acts of love is to feed others. I love to cook, so to nourish children through Backpack Buddies is an acceleration of that love. For a child living in poverty, having food set aside that’s just for them can be life changing.

It is important for me to be able to feed kids right here in my own community. I love knowing that my monthly donations through The Friday Club—Backpack Buddies’ monthly donor community—has a tangible, immediate impact on a child’s life.

You can join Deb and over 700 others from across BC as a monthly donor. When you join The Friday Club, you are joining a passionate, committed group of people who firmly believe that every child should know where their next meal is coming from. 

For just $20 per month, you can feed a hungry child—providing them with meals and snacks to last the weekend and beyond.

Give Monthly


Committed to Community and Philanthropy

At Backpack Buddies we never do this work alone. We do so with the unwavering support of our donors, volunteers, and community partners—partners like East to West Group of Companies who have been relentless supporters of the Backpack Buddies mission.

East to West Group of Companies has been in business since 2015 in both commercial equipment finance, and mortgage financing. Community and giving back are values that East to West and its employees believe in deeply. Philanthropy is embedded in their culture and involves every team member.

At the start of 2022 East to West Group of Companies decided they wanted to increase their annual giving but were unsure where to invest their time and money. The employees were split into three groups and tasked with the goal of choosing a new charity to sponsor. One of the groups, led by Colin Graham – Senior Credit Underwriter, determined through research that child hunger was prevalent across British Columbia. Further digging unveiled Backpack Buddies and their mission to attack the hunger that impacts our children across the province. This mission spoke to the team and once presented to the entire company the feeling was mutual for all team members. East to West now sponsors Backpack buddies along with another charity of choice, BC Children’s Hospital which they have supported with annual donations since their inception in 2015.

“We were looking for somewhere that we could have an impact, not just by giving money, but by giving something that’s more valuable, which is our time,” explains Colin. “Childhood hunger touches so many people; every school, every community, and even if folks are not aware of it —it’s there.”

The team at East to West Group of Companies has supported Backpack Buddies in many ways including donations, volunteering, and being a golf tournament sponsor. Volunteering to pack food bags with team members as well as family and friends at the warehouse has been a powerful experience. Colin explained that volunteering with Backpack Buddies has positively impacted the employees and their family members.

“Our children can go to a cupboard and say that they are hungry and grab whatever they want out of the cupboard. Not all kids have that. So, for them to go and put food bags together and have it explained to them where that food is going and why is quite impactful. There’s something so tangible when you’re onsite and seeing it all happen and being part of it, especially for kids.”

“Coming together to pack over 3,150 food bags at the Backpack Buddies warehouse was a big accomplishment. We felt a lot of gratitude to be able to help people in need.”

Backpack Buddies is so thankful to have such a kind-hearted and dedicated partner in East to West!

Want to get your company involved with Backpack Buddies?

Explore how here and meet our current partners and champions here.

Thank you for your generosity and encouragement in 2022/23.
We can only do this because of your support.

Together, we are putting hope on the table for thousands of hungry kids across BC.