MAZON Canada supports food projects across the country, from Haida Gwaii to Iqaluit to Thunder Bay. We have highlighted a few of our grantees - organizations that do incredible front-line work and face great challenges in this difficult period. Your support of MAZON Canada helps your community and your neighbours across the country fight hunger on the ground.
BACKPACK BUDDIES - COVID-19 has forced schools, and their breakfast and lunch programs, across Canada to close. Thousands of school children count on these programs for healthy, filling meals every day - 20% of BC’s children lack reliable food access. Before COVID-19, Backpack Buddies sent kids home with healthy food for the weekend to make sure kids are properly nourished on the 2 days each week without school lunches. Like many other programs, they had to find new ways to reach the kids who rely on them - while the days per week without school lunches moved from two to seven. Since COVID-19, they’ve partnered with community centres and non-profit agencies across Metro Vancouver and Vancouver Island to create “food distribution hubs” for kids and families to pick up meals at the end of the week. British Columbia has one of the highest child poverty rates in the country and Backpack Buddies is one of the many organizations working tirelessly to feed those who need it most.
SCHOOL DISTRICT 50 - School District 50 is a collection of 7 schools on Haida Gwaii, an island off the coast of BC. They apply to MAZON annually for support with their innovative shared school lunch program. This program not only includes healthy, nutritious food, but hands-on learning, as lunch is prepared by the students. They also visit organic farms, fishing sites, and more, where they are taught about food collection and preservation by elders. This is especially important for the high density of Indigenous students on the island, and creates a model for what a truly local, sustainable food system might look like.
In the early days of COVID-19, MAZON reached out to all our recent partners and asked, “How are you doing?”. School District 50 took some time to respond. Through the chaos of COVID-19’s school interruptions, they hadn’t yet had the time to ask their community that question. Inspired by our care, they developed a short survey to assess their community’s needs. While parents were overwhelmed with their children at home, it wasn’t video entertainment or education that they needed the most - it was food. School District 50 wrote to us with the results of the community survey, and we were able to provide them with support for their food hamper program.
MAZON is especially proud of supporting a program that brings together feeding the hungry, supporting innovative small and local food movements, and passing on cultural heritage. We know how important it is in our Jewish community - from our community to yours!