By the end of the work week, mornings are busy at the Kamloops Food Bank. An assembly line of volunteers sort, pack, and deliver hundreds of bags for the Starfish Backpack program.
“Obviously every year we kind of expect a bit of an increase in the numbers of backpacks that we distribute. This year though, it went up exponentially,” explains Food Bank Events and Communication Coordinator Kennedy Epp.
Concerned about keeping kids fed that access food programs during the school year, the Penticton Starfish Pack project is asking the community to donate to help families throughout the summer.
Tracy Van Raes, Starfish Pack chair and Rotarian, said their team put slips of paper into all the Starfish backpacks at the end of the school year with an email address to reach out if families needed summer support.
The Rotary Club of North Delta and its foundation donated $43,558 to community groups and to student bursaries during the year ending June 30, 2022, mainly to Delta and Surrey groups with a focus on providing services to North Delta residents.
Those funds are separate from the club’s Starfish Pack program, which currently deliver 1,300 pounds of food each week to 132 local elementary school children.
A local service club helping hungry students in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows is on the verge of shutting down.
The Starfish Pack Program, which has independently operated branches all across B.C., uses volunteers to pack bags full of healthy and tasty meals for school children who come from struggling families.
The fifth annual Stand Up For challenge saw boarders paddle the 18-kilometre length of Kalamalka Lake to raise money. The event took place September 3rd and surpassed its $24,000 goal even before participants hit the water.
When all was said and done, they had raised $31,110 raised for Kalamalka Starfish Pack. The funds will provide backpacks full of food each weekend to 50 children for the entire school year.