Abbotsford Summer Wrap Up
(2 Minute Read)
This summer was very eventful for the Starfish Pack Program. We were able to offer Summer Starfish Packs to children and their families for the first time ever! Now heading into the fall, and the school year being in full swing, we have been able to expand even more. We are working towards our goal of increasing our numbers to 300 packs in Abbotsford, and are even in the works of expanding Starfish to high schools for the first time through a new pantry program!
How did Summer Starfish Pack work?
The first year of Summer Starfish Pack was not without its challenges! Summer starfish Pack became a possibility only within the last few weeks of school, making a quick turn-around for response from families. Families were given the option to pick up their Starfish Pack at one of four different schools throughout the city. The Food Bank staff and Starfish Coordinator enjoyed the opportunity to deliver the packs every other Thursday through July and August. Our desire was to give the regular volunteers a break over the summer while we worked out the kinks of summer delivery.
Throughout the summer, we were able to provide 33 packs to children in need. Each week we had a small crew of new volunteers help assemble bulked up packs at the Food Bank. This is unique to the summer program on two levels. First of all, the Food Bank staff had a great time being able to facilitate the program in-house and opportunity to meet volunteers. During the school year we are so thankful to have the packs sorted within different community groups at churches all over the city. Secondly, the packs are usually filled with enough to feed a few children over the weekend, was bulked up to feed a few children over an extended period. We are excited with the success of our first summer, and look forward to growing the program for next year!
What’s happening this school year?
Our staff and volunteers are excited and ready for the next year of Starfish to kick off this week. We are looking forward to meeting our goal to increase the pack distribution to 300 packs and meet the need of our community. Thanks to multiple generous donors for making this possible in Abbotsford.
We are excited to be in the process of expanding to high schools. We understand that a starfish branded pack isn’t ideal for a high school student. So we are innovating through a Starfish pantry. These pantries will not only include food essentials, but much needed hygiene packs. Starfish Pantries plan to open in four high schools in November with hope to expand in the future.
We are so thankful that an idea that started with a few backpacks has now grown into something so much larger and is continuing to change the lives of children and their families in Abbotsford.