4imprint, LLC

Posted: November 27, 2023 3 min read

one by one®: CityReach Care Society

A single mother, with two children who require prescription medication, watches as her cost of living rises higher and higher. It becomes extremely difficult to pay for bills, groceries and her children’s medicine. Desperate to put food on the table, she resorts to alternating which child receives their medication each day.

This mother is given new hope when she discovers free groceries are available for pickup at her children’s school. With regular access to food, she has enough money to consistently pay for both of her children’s medical needs. Having such a burden lifted is especially meaningful, and thanks to CityReach Care Society, a nonprofit that helps provide food security, vulnerable individuals and families receive much-needed help. Smiling people wearing branded aprons and holding up containers of fresh produce.

“We’re not just meeting a tangible need by putting nutritious food in their belly, but we’re also putting money back into their pockets that they truly need to spend,” associate director Cheryl McManus said. “The money they save because they don’t have to buy food isn’t just an extra nice thing to have. It’s a real need. Families are having to go without essentials because of the high cost of food, rent, etc.”

Fresh food for all

The food CityReach Care Society provides is fresh, healthy and often locally grown. The organization mainly operates out of Vancouver, with another spot in the Tri-Cities and the newest expansion of programs into Surrey. It has five main programs:

  1. Food for Families serves families with children to help combat childhood poverty and lack of access to fresh food.
  2. Club Freedom supplies a weekly hot meal to people experiencing homelessness or living with addiction or mental health issues.
  3. Out-of-School Care offers childcare to families who most need before-and-after-school help. It also hosts a full-day camp in the spring and summer for school-aged children.
  4. Adopt-a-School partners with schools to serve under-resourced families, providing them with access to the Food for Families program, Christmas hampers and backpacks full of needed supplies, as well as other essential supports, both on and off school grounds.
  5. CityReach Bees is wonderfully unique. It hosts rooftop honeybee hives to help pollinate nearby urban gardens, including a high school garden across the street. The gardeners donate produce to CityReach Care Society for it to be distributed to people who need fresh food the most.

Water bottle giveaways bottle up hope

CityReach Care Society organizes five main events every year. One of the events, Back-to-School Blast, is a large party where low-income families come to enjoy the day and receive needed school supplies. Around 1,000 backpacks—stocked with items like notebooks, pens, snacks and donated dental kits from local dentists—are given away. About half of the families served participate in the Food for Families program, while the other half are referred by school partners.

This year, one of the items included in the backpacks, a water bottle giveaway, was purchased with a one by one grant. “We put an encouraging statement on the water bottle to show these kids that someone believes in them and they’re capable of so much good,” McManus said. Using the grant to purchase the water bottles allows extra money to go back into the organization, opening more opportunities to serve the community.

A note from Cheryl

The positive impact CityReach Care Society makes on underserved families is incredible. 4imprint is honored to provide water bottle giveaways for the organization’s Back-to-School Blast. To find out more about the one by one grant program, visit onebyone.4imprint.ca.