On the last day of school before the holiday break, the Strathcona Community Centre, in partnership with the Strathcona Community Policing Centre (Strathcona CPC), hosted a special event for all families that participate in the Strathcona Backpack program. There were interactive holiday activities such as candle-making and a cooking demonstration (fresh cranberry sauce!), and all families also received a hamper of fresh groceries and a variety of holiday gifts. It was a fun and festive opportunity to connect with members of the community in a meaningful way.
For us at the Strathcona Community Policing Centre, we know that ‘safety’ means a lot of different things to different people, and we love to partner with like minded organizations to provide safety and security to our community – this time we partnered with the Strathcona Backpack program,” explains Dan Turvill, Executive Director of the Strathcona CPC.
The Strathcona Backpack Program started over 10 years ago, supporting 50 families and has since grown to 250 families in 2021. These 250 households account for nearly 800 people in Vancouver’s Strathcona neighbourhood receiving food support on a weekly basis.
Staff and volunteers from the Strathcona CPC were excited to lend their time to such an important cause. They were able to engage with the families and talk with them about community issues and their future wishes for the neighbourhood. With funding from the Vancouver Police Foundation, the Strathcona CPC was also able to provide a holiday gift to each family.
“A community that knows each other, that communicates well with each other, and cares about each other is a safe community,” says Dan. “This program is a fantastic way to connect with our neighbourhood and to show them that this community will come together to support each other in times of need.”
Many thanks to the volunteers who assisted with the event, helping to decorate, wrap gifts, distribute groceries and gifts, and most importantly, had caring conversations with the families.