Back-to-school season is a time of excitement and fun for many kids. But for those living in poverty— which includes 600,000 Canadian children—back-to-school can come with worry and embarrassment.
School Feeding Programs
Across Canada, one in seven kids go to school hungry. As the price of food continues to rise, more and more families on fixed or limited incomes are facing food insecurity.
From coast to coast, The Salvation Army provides more than 100,000 meals annually to children through its school feeding programs.
Kids such as Michael, whose mom works nights usually leaving him without breakfast, and Kaitlyn, whose household income went to one salary after her father died, would be hungry if it weren’t for Salvation Army school feeding programs.
“Without the lunch program there would be many nights that my siblings and I would go to bed hungry,” says Kaityln.
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“Backpacks do so much more than carry books,” says Terry Harney, Director of Family Services for The Salvation Army in Markham, Ont. “They give confidence, restore dignity and give kids the tools they need to succeed in the classroom.”
The Salvation Army in Markham is one of many Salvation Army centres across the country giving kids a good start to the school year.
“I used to carry my school supplies in a plastic bag,” says one backpack recipient. “It makes me feel better to be like the other kids.”
“People who already struggle financially just don’t have the means to put out $50 plus for the most basic of school supplies,” says Harney. “The more we can help students prepare for school year, the more successful our community will be.”