We believe in the generosity of kids. 

Central to what we do at Backpack Buddies is our kids-helping-kids model. In fact, it was the spark that ignited this entire program.

In 2012, mother-daughter duo, Joanne and Emily-Anne went to Collingwood School in West Vancouver with an idea: what if we could build connection, empathy and a stronger sense of community-commitment among young people while addressing one of our city’s most pressing issues: childhood hunger?

The answer was a resounding YES! from the teachers and students at Collingwood, and so Backpack Buddies was born. In the six years since, our experience connecting kids with giving and volunteerism has affirmed this idea in big ways.

Today, our team at Backpack Buddies tackles the weekend hunger gap head on by working with “buddy schools.” Students at buddy schools are responsible for raising awareness in their schools around childhood hunger, identifying Hunger Heroes in their community who will take on the cause, and investing hundreds of volunteer hours a year packing our Backpack Buddies to care for their peers in different parts of Metro Vancouver.

Last year, with the support of generous donors and a committed community, we delivered over 24,000 backpacks of food to children across Metro Vancouver who otherwise would have not eaten over the weekends.

Are you surprised to learn that kids right here in Metro Vancouver are going hungry?

Students’ experience with Backpack Buddies broadens their worldview significantly. It builds empathy, perspective and sets them up to be adults who consider the impact their lives can have on others who are not as fortunate as they are. If every student had an opportunity to learn like this, wouldn’t they get along better as adults? Would they be more compassionate? More generous? I believe so.
— Beth McCracken, Retired Educator + Founding Board Member of Backpack Buddies


We deliver over 3000 backpacks of food every month

We work with 66 schools around the Greater Vancouver area: 18 schools that donate into our program each month, and 48 recipient schools. We depend on our Buddy Schools (donors) to ensure that our program continues to grow in impact.


We will empower 50 communities 

By 2020 we want to have inspired and empowered 50 communities to alleviate childhood hunger, using the Backpack Buddies model of kids helping kids. We know it seems like a big goal, but we believe in the 'go big or go home' mentality - don’t you?!