We are so pleased to announce our adoption of Backpack Buddies as our “at home” Corporate Charitable Foundation program.
The needs of children at risk have always been our 1st choice: CMN – Children’s Miracle Network funds our sick kids and now Backpack Buddies feeds our kids who otherwise go without good nutrition.
We took on 2 objectives for this Foundation for 2015:
- Today I am pleased to announce that through the efforts of Upton Consulting Services’ Pay It Forward Fund, a proper vehicle for transporting the food to the schools in need has been provided.
- Our mission, company wide through all our Metro Group companies, is to secure a storage container with refrigeration so perishable food can be added to the food bags. Target: $40,000.
Please join me in your support of Sebastian our Hunger Hero and Joanne & Emily-Anne Griffiths, Co-Founders of Community First Foundation’s Backpack Buddies program.
Deborah Upton, President & Co-Broker Owner
Learn more about our flagship program, Backpack Buddies.
Backpack Buddies is a unique program that addresses a very real need in the Vancouver community while providing a tangible opportunity for kids to help other kids.
We know it isn’t exactly comfortable to think about, but many students in Vancouver’s inner city schools rely heavily on free or reduced price breakfast and lunch programs during the school week. Sadly, something most of us forget is that “hunger doesn’t take the weekend off” and these same kids go home to meager or no meals on the weekend. It is proven that without adequate nutrition, kids have difficulty learning and are at risk of developing serious health conditions. Once they are aware of the issue, we believe no one in Vancouver would want this to be a reality for kids in our city. And this is what led to the formation of our flagship program, Backpack Buddies, a creative solution to the problem.
The concept is simple. Kids that are fortunate enough to be living and attending school without worrying about where their next meal is coming from are invited to join the program. They have fundraisers, hold food drives and pack backpacks full of enough food to feed kids throughout the weekend. Next, Community First volunteers pick up the backpacks and deliver them to the schools that need them. See it’s simple but requires a great deal of work.
Don’t be fooled, we don’t do this all on our own; we have the support of a growing list of community partners that want to be part of the solution. Backpack Buddies is generously sponsored by Save On Foods and Urban Fare, both making food contributions and Miles End Motors providing the wheels to deliver them.
Backpack Buddies is founded on the belief that in order for kids to feel compassion and empathy, they need to understand and learn about the issues faced by others and then to be provided with tangible opportunities to actually help and be part of the solution.
It is usually appropriate to assess a need by the demand for what you are doing. Backpack Buddies started with 1 donor school (20 backpacks) and 1 recipient school. Just 2 years later, we have 7 donor schools (400 backpacks) and 5 recipient schools welcoming our help for their hungry kids. As a result, every week we are providing over 400 kids in inner city schools with enough food to last an entire weekend.
Check out what our fabulous contributors and recipients have to say!
Teachers at Queen Alexandra:
“At inner city schools, Monday’s are particularity hard. Kids come to school hungry after the weekend and they are not ready to face the challenges of the day yet because they are hungry.”
“Students end up falling behind because we are trying to meet the basic needs of the kids before we can even start teaching.”
“Just keeping the fridge full, I find is challenging. It’s nice to the see the smiles on my kids faces when they get to open up their backpacks.”
“Kids do a lot of social learning in school… Backpack Buddies teaches them how to be part of a community.”
“These are also things that impact joy in a child, and make them feel good and happy and taken care of.”
Like what you see? Contribute today, help support us by making a donation.
Thanks for your support,
Community First Foundation and Joanne & Emily-Anne Griffiths, Co-Founders of Backpack Buddies