Each September, thousands of children in Ottawa return to school without backpacks and proper school supplies. The OCH Foundation’s Pack-a-Sack program purchases supplies and backpacks for children living in Ottawa Community Housing so they can return to school equipped and ready to learn.

Did you know:

  • In 2021, more than 750 requests were made for support from individuals living in Ottawa Community Housing.
  • It costs between $40 – $60 to equip children and older youth with the back-to-school supplies they need for proper learning (backpack, markers, pencils, erasers, ruler, scissors, etc.).
  • The median income of families living in OCH is approximately $17,000 per year meaning that many families struggle to cover the cost of back-to-school supplies for their children.

Since 2014, the Ottawa Community Housing Foundation’s Pack-a-Sack program has supported thousands of children, youth and their families living in OCH neighborhoods. We partner with the Caring and Sharing Exchange, a local organization that performs a coordination and distribution service to ensure the even dissemination of school essentials to families in need. This year we were able to purchase over $20,000 worth of school supplies to be distributed to families living in OCH.

If you would like to organize a Pack-a-Sack fundraiser on behalf of the Foundation, please reach out to us at or donate directly through our Canada Helps portal.