Two local organizations have teamed up for a new initiative that helps hungry kids in the Fraser Valley.
Mattress Recycling (now based in Hope) and North Vancouver's Backback Buddies are delivering 200 meal bags to the Hope Food Bank each week. The packages are easily transported, thanks to a donation of 300 plastic bins from the Coquitlam IKEA.
The food is then distributed by the Hope & Area Transition Society, Hope Community Services, Fraser Cascade School District No. 78, and Fraser Health to schools in Hope, Agassiz, and Boston Bar every Friday.
"It was a really natural fit because it's a community we really wanted to expand into, but transportation is a huge barrier," says Backback Buddies co-founder Emily-anne King.
Items are handed out discreetly, to preserve the dignity of families who rely on the special service.
Food insecurity is a major issue in Canada. B.C. has one of the highest child poverty rates in the country with 20 percent of children living below the poverty line. Roughly one in five kids in the province doesn't have enough food; some estimates put the number even higher.
Mattress Recycling owner Fabio Scaldaferri says the issue hits close to home. "I have two young kids and one on the way and I can't stand the idea of kids being hungry. Using my business to make a change in the community we work in just makes sense to me—the more we can do to support and bolster Hope, the better," explains Scaldaferri.
While the collaboration has just started, both groups hope to continue the partnership for years to come.