Brown Bagging for Calgary's Kids (BB4CK)
Our Story Why We Exist
BB4CK exists because we believe that everyone has the power and the responsibility to take meaningful action that improves their community. This action could be large or small – holding a door open, cooking food for a neighbouring family, making a large donation or time commitment, and so many others. Any of these are opportunities to make an impact and build a stronger community. Every meaningful action makes a difference.
We engage with the community to provide lunch for kids in Calgary who would otherwise go without. We believe that engaging in this meaningful action has many positive impacts:
Providing food to more than 2,750 kids daily who would otherwise not have lunch, providing an opportunity for physical health, participation in school and social activities and growing confidence
Empowering volunteers, community groups and supporters who are passionate about the problem of childhood hunger to take action and make a difference
Ensuring kids who are without lunch know that their community cares for them and will support them
Building a sense of community among individuals who work together to solve problems, often leading them to solve other problems in their community
Informing people who aren’t aware about issues of childhood hunger and giving them an opportunity to take action, often leading them to take action on other issues as well
This is our focus, and the reason we exist.
Our Impact What We Do
Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids (BB4CK) has one goal: no hungry kids in Calgary. We strive toward this goal each day by providing 2,800 healthy lunches directly to kids, and by empowering communities to create lasting social change. There are hungry kids in our city and there is a caring community of Calgarians who are working together to help feed them.
BB4CK works for kids like Bianca, who came to Canada in the middle of her grade 8 year. While Bianca’s family was working to settle down in the city and meet so many basic needs, Bianca received lunches at her school made by BB4CK volunteers. Volunteers gave a few hours of their time and donors provided financial support that allowed healthy food to be purchased – the community joined together to make a difference.
The individual actions that brought a healthy lunch to a hungry 14-year-old have created lasting impact for Bianca, now a university student who volunteers to make lunches each week — and that action and impact are what BB4CK is all about. “Awareness is such a big factor, but you have to act on it as well. It’s not just making sandwiches, it’s making Calgary a better place,” Bianca says.
BB4CK works for Bianca and kids like her, making our community better via the seemingly simple act of lunch.
Our Vision: Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids has one goal: no hungry kids in Calgary. We strive toward this goal each day by providing healthy lunches directly to kids, and by empowering communities to create lasting social change.
Our Mission: To work with Calgary schools to identify kids who are hungry and find ways to feed them.
Our Programs How We Do It
To ensure every student in Calgary has access to a healthy lunch, BB4CK works closely with each school and school board in the city, supporting them to ensure the needs of their students are met.
Once a school identifies that they have a need for lunches they inform BB4CK of how many kids are impacted by hunger each day. BB4CK will then arrange to meet the lunch needs of these students.
Some schools will receive lunch deliveries from BB4CK’s Kitchen, located in downtown Calgary. The Kitchen is operated by more than 2,000 volunteers each year who come together daily to make sandwiches, cut up fruits and vegetables and bake snacks for lunches. The lunches are picked up by volunteer drivers and delivered to schools each morning.
Alternatively, the school might be connected to a community group via BB4CK that makes lunches – perhaps a senior’s centre, a church group or a company with a corporate kitchen. These groups may meet daily, a few times a week, or even once each week, making lunches specifically for kids in a school where there is need.
Some schools may also receive direct funding and support from BB4CK to purchase the food supplies they need for lunch. Lunches could be coordinated by school staff or volunteers, and sometimes students put the lunches together for themselves or others in their school or neighboring schools.
However they receive lunch, BB4CK works to get lunch to students as soon as a need is identified. This allows us to ensure that every student in Calgary has access to a healthy lunch at school.
Our Requests What You Can Do
BB4CK knows that every person has the power to change their world. It takes thoughtful, meaningful action – being willing to spend time, energy and resources to understand a problem and turn it into an opportunity. The BB4CK community focuses its energy on ensuring every student in Calgary has access to a healthy lunch at school, and we invite you to join us.
Share the story! Tell someone the facts about hungry kids in our city and empower them to take action to do something about it – whether they are part of the BB4CK community or not. The more people that know about hungry kids in Calgary, and that they can to do something about it, the better.
Give financially! The BB4CK budget is $850,000 each year, 100% of which comes from community donations – we don’t have any government funding contracts. This means that the generosity of individuals, groups and companies – from 8 year olds who give their birthday money to national corporations giving major grants – ensure that BB4CK is stable and sustainable.
Start a group! You can start a group in your community, with people joining together to make lunches for students in a local school. We love helping groups connect with the resources and contacts needed to ensure kids get lunch!
Volunteer your time! Join us in the BB4CK Kitchen, arrange for your company team or group of friends to help out, sign up as a driver and deliver lunches to schools in the city, or give your time in the BB4CK office. Volunteers of all talents and availabilities join together to ensure kids get lunch every day.