Many underprivileged kids receive subsidized lunches throughout the school week, however during the weekend, the program is not in service and kids would not have access to nutritious meals until Monday.
The Strathcona Backpack Program provides food for meals to fill the “hunger gap” during the weekend when children are not supported by the school food programs they depend on during the school week. The Strathcona Backpack Program has been running since November 2010 and has expanded to support over 275 children. Every Friday, families pick up a bag filled with a variety of nutritious foods that is generously provided by the Greater Vancouver Food Bank Society and purchased at local community partners with funding from several charitable sources.
So what’s in the bag?
Families can expect to receive nutritious items such as fresh fruit and veggies; food staples like potatoes, pasta and bread; dairy products like yogurt and cheese; and snacks like granola bars and juice boxes.
This program serves the Downtown Eastside Strathcona area. The VPD Neighbourhood Community Policing Officer, Constable Janine Tanino engages with families in this program living in the neighbourhood to make them feel safe, provide education, and awareness around increasing their safety living in the DTES. Programs like the Strathcona Backpack program help build positive relationships and trust between the neighbourhood and VPD.