Skip to content

District 69 Backpack Program asks for donations to help feed PQB families

Program aims to ensure children do not go hungry over weekend
The District 69 Backpack Program is looking for donations to ensure children and families do not go hungry over the weekend. (Submitted photo)

With the new school year in full swing, the District 69 Backpack Program is looking for donations to help ensure children and families do not go hungry during the weekends.

Every Thursday, backpacks full of healthy food staples are either sent home with a student or delivered to the home, according to the program’s founder and co-ordinator, Virginia Worcester.

“What the backpack program is all about is feeding families with food insecurities,” Worcester said. “It’s for children that are at risk of weekend hunger and we provide food for the whole entire family. A lot of backpack programs just feed one child and not the parents or the other children.”

She added the program runs over the summer months, but there is a greater need during the school year. Already the number of families accessing the backpack has increased by five to 55, according to Worcester, who anticipates that number will likely increase as teachers get to know students and families and understand where the need is.

Families receive healthy food such as bread, cereal, milk, peanut butter, jam, pasta, pasta sauce, tuna and soups, which allows them to assemble nutritious meals over the weekend and over the school week if necessary.

The program sends enough food to feed the whole family, big or small and lets kids return to school on Monday nourished and ready to learn, Worcester added.

READ MORE: Qualicum school district realigns boundary to ease overcrowding in schools

Special hampers are sent out on Thanksgiving and Christmas with a turkey, stuffing, potatoes, corn, pancake mix and syrup, plus the usual food staples. Every child receives a gift and a brand new outfit for Christmas, Worcester said. Families also receive a special Easter hamper.

The program is run completely by volunteers, so 100 per cent of donations go to purchasing food, according to Worcester. Donations can be made with cash, a cheque made out to District 69 and through direct deposit to District 69 Backpack Program is a registered charity and everyone who donates will receive a tax receipt.

The program serves families at all School District 69 (Qualicum) schools, from Nanoose Bay to Bowser.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Kevin Forsyth

About the Author: Kevin Forsyth

As a lifelong learner, I enjoy experiencing new cultures and traveled around the world before making Vancouver Island my home.
Read more