The Aldergrove and Abbotsford Starfish Pack programs are each $5,000 stronger thanks to a donation from the LiUNA (Laborers’ International Union of North America) local 1611 Construction and Specialized Workers’ Union.
Starfish has been very busy this year! From providing 500 emergency essential pantry boxes to families in May and June, to doubling the number of participants in our Summer Starfish program. With kids back to school, we’re happy to be launching our regular weekly backpack deliveries. Starfish has never stopped helping more families – now, more than ever before.
Reimagining Summer Starfish Packs presented many challenges as we continue to operate within the guidelines of Stage 3 Reopening. From sourcing volunteers to finding adequate storage and sorting space, many unknowns were met by a positive response from a generous community. We are excited to say that despite the challenges, we have officially launched our third year of our Summer Starfish program! This ensures families can receive help all year long, not just during the school year.
What’s happening to the Abbotsford Starfish Pack Location while schools are closed? Although we have been faced with food shortages, proximity limits and so many unknown factors, thanks to our generous community we have a plan to continue feeding hungry students and families.
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By Meghan Kellington & Rebecca Thuro
The Starfish Pack Program has been buzzing lately, preparing for the new school year’s deliveries to start. It’s crazy to think that less than 10 years ago, Starfish was delivering 6 backpacks to one school in Abbotsford, and now over 1400 children across the province of British Columbia (and Whatcom County, WA) are receiving Starfish backpacks each weekend thanks to hundreds of volunteers and donors.
When you think of your childhood, what memories come to mind when you hear the words Summer Holidays? Maybe you think of the excitement of being out of school and getting to play all day with your friends. Maybe you think of camping, family vacations, or attending different types of kid’s camps. Sunshine, swimming, adventures, fun. But for some children and families in Abbotsford, instead of thinking about the fun summer they are going to have, they are thinking, “Are we going to have enough money to be able to afford groceries?” or “When am I going to have food to eat during the summer?”
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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!
By Lucas Driediger
Big Things are in the Works!
From extending Starfish through the summer, to increasing the amount of children we support, there is a lot going on in the world of Starfish! Whether you are eager to fight poverty, or just want a feel good story, this blog is for you.
Updated June 23 2017
In 1937, a small group of local lawyers came together committed to the idea of serving the small communities of Abbotsford and Chilliwack. Eighty years later, the law firm of Baker Newby is celebrating the milestone by making a major donation to those communities.
Baker Newby has announced the creation of a matching grant program in support of the Abbotsford and Chilliwack Starfish Pack programs. The program will match dollar for dollar all local donations received before the end of 2017, up to a maximum of $80,000. This amount will allow the Starfish Pack program to add 300 additional children to the weekend food program for the entire 2017-2018 school year.