Blessings in a Backpack program brings healthy food to students on weekends

John Manneh September 27, 2013

Blessings-in-a-Backpack-2A program based out of Midtown Toronto is striving to ensure that at-risk students don’t go hungry on weekends.

Blessings in a Backpack currently works with 970 children and youth across Toronto, with a specific focus on communities such as the Grange, Parkdale, Downsview, Humber and Scarborough.

“The kids we serve are considered food insecure, which means they’re struggling with hunger,” said Karen Green, executive director of the Toronto branch of Blessings in a Backpack. “They get a backpack filled with food every Friday and they return it to us empty on Monday.”

The food in the backpacks is purchased through donations, with the organization making the most of discounts and donations from food suppliers. While the organization strives to make the food as healthy as possible, the students must also get items that are as easy as possible to prepare.

“Often, these kids don’t have homes or stoves,” Green said. “They’re living on people’s couches.”

Blessings in a Backpack originated in the U.S. and came to Toronto in 2008, helping students at two schools in the city.

The organization has expanded ever since – it was affiliated with eight Toronto schools last year and is looking to expand to one more this year.

See the full article here. 

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