Hunger doesn't take the weekend off!
Children in the Mandurah | Bindjareb region are going Hungry!
A hidden struggle is unfolding in our local community that affects nearly 1 in 5 children. This struggle is food insecurity, a reality that significantly impacts the health, education, and future of our young community members. It's more than just a statistic; it's a daily challenge faced by many families, often silently.
For children living in households where food is scarce, weekends don't offer a break from hunger. Instead, they often face days without proper or any meals. This consistent lack of nutrition, even if it's just during weekends, can have lifelong consequences.
The Bridge Builders Backpack Buddies program, supported by Telethon, is a new and exciting project aimed at tackling a big problem: kids going hungry, especially on weekends. We're stepping up by giving out backpacks full of good, nutritious food every Friday to kids who really need it. Thanks to Telethon's help, we're not just handing out food; we're testing out a way to make a real difference in these kids' lives. This pilot program is all about figuring out the best ways to help kids stay fed and ready to learn and play. It's more than just a meal; it's about giving these kids a better shot at a healthy, happy life.
of Households experience moderate to severe food insecurity
children in the Mandurah | Bindjareb region are food insecure.
increase in grocery costs in 2023
How Will It Work?
Our Backpack Buddies program is unique because we will be deliver food directly to children through their school.
We will partner with local schools to connect with children in need.
Everything will be coordinated in partnership with teachers, administrators and chaplains. They will advise us on the needs of their students and discreetly identify children who will benefit most from receiving a bag of food for the weekend.
We will deliver bags of food directly to schools every week.
We aim to work with grocery suppliers and larger food rescue organisations to stretch every dollar we have so we can provide bags of food to local schools with identified need.
We will feed hungry kids with dignity and discretion
We will take steps to ensure kids aren’t ashamed to get help. Every Friday, the kids we serve will go home with a bag full of meals and snacks to last them the weekend. Coordinating with teachers, chaplains and administrators, we will ensure delivery is discreet so that no child feels singled out by this support. For the kids we serve, they will head home every Friday knowing where their next meal is coming from and are equipped to return to school on Monday ready to learn.
What's In a Backpack
Food will be selected in consultation with nutritionists and educators. Our bags are kid-approved, easy to prepare, and varied – perfect for growing children.
All our food is ready-to-eat because many of the kids we serve may be left home alone. They will have to prepare this food by themselves, often with very limited access to a microwave, stove or oven.
Most of the food chosen will be non-perishable because often kids may not have access to appropriate food storage space at home. We recognise the importance of fresh fruit and veggies and include fresh items that last a while outside the fridge like apples, oranges and carrots.
Every item in our bags will be kid-approved because, most children are not particularly adventurous in their eating habits—they like and eat what they know.