What are Starfish Packs and why do they exist?

The Starfish Pack Program started as a pilot project with 6 backpacks as a response to an Abbotsford teacher’s cry for help. She was feeding many of her Kindergarten students who were coming to school on Monday hungry. The hunger was affecting their moods and their ability to focus in class. This was not just an Abbotsford problem.

Many students across the province rely on school breakfast and lunch programs to fill their tummy’s on school days. When it comes to the weekend, they don’t have the food they need. Starfish Pack was designed to help change that. Starfish provides backpacks with 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners, and snacks to hungry students each weekend of the school year.

Teachers have reported improvements in children’s reading skills, math skills, ability to focus and to do partner work. Starfish has now expanded to over 20 cities and is helping make sure children across BC and Whatcom County don’t have to worry about weekend hunger. If you would like to learn more about a specific location, please click the locations button at the top of the screen and select which city you would like to learn more about.

 

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How it Works

Each week, volunteers fill backpacks with 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners, and snacks and then deliver them to local schools for the students to take home on the weekend. The students return the empty backpacks to the school the following week, and our volunteers pick them up to be refilled for the following weekend.

We have a cycle of 8 menus, each menu is child friendly. An example of some of the items includes cereal, oatmeal, pasta and pasta sauce, bagels, whole wheat tortillas, tuna or other canned meats, a variety of soups, chilli, peanut butter, jam, canned vegetables, fresh fruit, and granola bars.

It costs approximately $600 to fill a backpack for a student for the full school year. 100% of donations go towards purchasing the backpacks and the items for the packs.

 

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Bring Starfish to your city

Interested in bringing Starfish to your city? Each of our locations is run independently but follow the same guidelines. To become a Starfish Pack location, you will need to partner with a local charity to be able to accept donations, issue tax receipts and pay for the food and backpacks. You will also need a group of dedicated volunteers who will collect the backpacks, pack the backpacks and deliver the backpacks all school year. You will also need a volunteer willing to order the food each week. Once these things are in place, please contact us to give you the rest of the details of how to be included on the website and officially get your program started!

 

Have more questions?

 

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