Adara and Thalia moved to Canada four years ago from the US. Their parents, Lauren and Paul, came in search of better jobs. They landed opportunities, but like other families were swept away by the soaring cost of living in Vancouver.
“When we moved to Canada, we used our savings,” Lauren explains. “We went through them quickly and as we scrambled to make ends meet we often had to skip meals.”
Lauren and Paul work hard, but food security looms heavily over the family.
Inflation. The cost of housing. Growing kids. The reasons for hunger are widespread and deeply felt by many.
“The first school the kids were at didn’t offer a school lunch and it was a very difficult year of financial stress…sometimes Paul and I didn’t eat so the kids could.”
“Even in kindergarten, Adara would get bullied—kids could just smell that she was poor. She didn’t have vegetables in a fancy lunchbox.”
The bullying was so acute, the kids moved to a new school. That’s where they found Backpack Buddies.
“This little bit of stability—this little bit of certainty—has helped us get through these difficult years. Thank you.”
– PAUL, FATHER
Since 2019, Adara and Thalia have been coming home every weekend with backpacks full of food.
To their parents, the impact on the kids is clear.
“The first year we saw Adara fading away…with all the complex issues that were happening around food and hunger in our family,” Paul remembers. “Backpack Buddies has been part of her recovering her shine and her sparkle…I see that confidence and that amazing kid that we saw earlier in her life.”
For the kids and families who suffer from hunger in silence, these weekly bags of food mean so much.