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Special delivery for kids returning to school

Halifax families in need get some extra help from Bell Aliant

by Rebecca Zimmer

Feed Nova Scotia's Karen Theriault speaks with Bell Aliant volunteers Thursday morning after receiving 2000 backpacks from Bell Aliant's Backpacks for Kids program. Feed Nova Scotia will distribute the backpacks full of school supplies to kids across the province so they are ready to go back to school in September.
Feed Nova Scotia's Karen Theriault speaks with Bell Aliant volunteers Thursday morning after receiving 2000 backpacks from Bell Aliant's Backpacks for Kids program. Feed Nova Scotia will distribute the backpacks full of school supplies to kids across the province so they are ready to go back to school in September.
Volunteers pack backpacks at Feed Nova Scotia so they are ready for kids in Nova Scotia going back to school. (Photos: Rebecca Zimmer)
Volunteers pack backpacks at Feed Nova Scotia so they are ready for kids in Nova Scotia going back to school. (Photos: Rebecca Zimmer)

Feed Nova Scotia received a special delivery this morning for kids returning to school. 

Through their Backpacks for Kids program, Bell Aliant donated 2,000 backpacks to be distributed across 71 of the charity's 150 food banks in Nova Scotia.

“There is a really big need," said the corporation's Dawn Boylan. "We know there (are) about 65,000 children aged five to 12 living below the poverty line in Atlantic Canada." 

Last year, 36,000 people used the food bank and 3,900 of those people were children. 

Feed Nova Scotia’s, Karen Theriault knows how expensive school supplies can be. She believes that for many people, back to school season puts pressure on an already tight budget. 

“So many families are faced with making the decision, ‘do I buy food this week or do I fill the kid’s backpacks?'" Theriault said. 

Martin Walker, president of the North Dartmouth Outreach Centre, says he encounters the need everyday at the centre, but also gets to see the positive result of the initiative. 

“This is like Christmas in late summer," he says. "It’s a wonderful thing.”

The money to purchase the backpacks was raised through public donations, as well as from past and present Bell employees. The bags also came filled with different school supplies, which Boylan hopes gives a personal touch. 

“We know that it’s important to feel like an individual, but also that (kids) have all the supplies they need so they can start the school year off right," he says. 

Bell Aliant has donated 38,000 backpacks over the past 13 years. 

Anyone can donate to the Backpack for Kids campaign online or by visiting participating Bell Aliant stores until September 7. 


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Topics: Education
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