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The Lunch Bag Project

This project took us two afternoons - one for shopping and the other for packing and distributing.  We made and gave out 21 bags to some thankful folks downtown Toronto.  We were worried we wouldn't be able to find enough people, but in the end we could have used more bags.  Next time, we will make sure to have more bags with us.  A great project that was easy to execute!  See the steps and some printables below!

Step 1: Make a list of the items you might want to put in your bag.  We went to Costco and thought about the following things when choosing items:

  • Easy to eat: food that does not need a spoon and that is not too messy

  • Covid friendly: we chose food that is prepackaged (and we had very clean hands while packaging!)

  • Travels well: bananas are awesome but bruise super easily

  • Allergies: we stayed away from foods with nuts

  • Healthy and yummy: we tried to pick different kinds of foods

  • Usefulness: we included hand sanitizer but could also add hand warmers, socks, mittens, toothbrushes, etc.

Check out this list for other ideas

Step 2: Go Shopping!  Get your items and the bags that you will put your items in.  We used 1 Gallon Clear Resealable Bags but use whatever you have on hand or whatever is available.


Step 3: Write/print a note.  Add a little personal note like the one here with a little bit of encouragement and care.


Step 4: Assemble your bags.  Make sure your hands are clean and do it together!


Step 5: Give out your bags. We went to Downtown Toronto and easily found some friends who were happy to receive a care package.  Depending on where you live, you may have less people who are visibly in need.  Consider talking to people at a drop in centre or a food bank who may be able to provide you with suggestions.  For this step, the kids stayed in the car and the adults did the sharing of the bags.

Some other helpful tips:

  • You can keep care packages in your car for those times that you may see someone in need

  • "Would you like a care package?" is a respectful way to offer a bag

  • Respect people's privacy and do not take any photos or ask unwanted questions

  • Be prepared to have a family conversation related to food insecurity before distributing

  • Use the drive home as a time for a family conversation about gratitude and the impact you might have made

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