Backpack Buddies’ school meal programs feed over 400 vulnerable Surrey children

 SURREYCARES Community Foundation has provided a $42,800 grant to Backpack Buddies to extend their weekly meal delivery program which serves over 400 vulnerable children in Surrey. Their community outreach and work to ensure food security are crucial throughout the COVID-19 crisis as vulnerable children rely on school meal programs. As a result, they are scaling up to help more kids with weekend meals and snacks for the weekday and the weekends.

Joanne Griffiths, President and Co-Founder of Backpack Buddies, said on Wednesday: “With job losses and a depressed economy, the demand for food to feed children is skyrocketing. We receive more calls every day from schools, community organizations, and families looking for food.” However, by working with 18 Surrey schools, they now serve 56% more BC children than they did as of March 2020. Through this granting, their project benefits vulnerable children in Surrey by ensuring their food security.

The grant is made possible through the Government of Canada’s new $350 million Emergency Community Support Fund, which saw over $900,000 allocated to SurreyCares. 

Christine Buttkus, Executive Director of SurreyCares, said: “Backpack Buddies provides urgent support for vulnerable children facing increased food insecurity due to COVID-19. The need for food is not particular to COVID-19 but rather, the need has been intensified. We strive to support Surrey’s children as best we can during this unprecedented time.” 

The Emergency Community Support Fund is being delivered through a national partnership with Community Foundations of CanadaUnited Way Centraide Canada and the Canadian Red Cross

“We’re grateful to the Government of Canada for this much-needed boost benefitting local charities,” said John Lawson, Chair of SurreyCares. “Charities and non-profit organizations have been leading the charge to assist those who need it most in the fight against COVID-19. We know the need for funding is still significant and we’re continuing to advocate for additional emergency funds.” 

Individuals and businesses who wish to support Surrey charities are asked to give to the Surrey Community Relief Fund.