Why Do Starfish Packs Exist?
The Starfish Pack Backpack Program was created in response to teachers hearing the cry of their students. Teachers were heartbroken to hear their students were coming to class Monday morning hungry, reporting that they had not eaten over the weekend. Sadly, 400 elementary school children have been identified by the Abbotsford School District as being in need of food over the weekend. Now over 300 backpacks are packed with food and are going home with the students over the weekend from 35 different schools.
“400 elementary school children are going without food over the weekend”
At the outset of the 2013-2014 school year, the Abbotsford Rotary Club met with the Abbotsford School District to determine the scope of need and the priority order of schools. It was determined that nearly 400 elementary school children throughout Abbotsford’s public schools depends on either an in-school breakfast and/or lunch program as their sole source of nutrition during a normal school day. A conservative estimate indicated that over 300 of those students were also going completely without nutritional meals of any kind over a normal two day weekend. To become a partner please contact your City’s Starfish Pack program by clicking the “Location” link in the top menu or feel free to contact us through this website.
This new program could not be possible without the generosity of some key players–including the Rotary Club of Abbotsford and many other volunteer partners, including local businesses, faith groups and individuals.
To donate please click the Starfish Pack “location” you would like to donate to in the menu bar at the top of this page. Donation instructions can be found on your city’s starfish pack link.
Just wondering if someone is in the process of setting this up in Richmond or how would someone go about setting it up in Richmond?
Hi Ruby, thank you for your inquiry! I have sent you an email connecting you with Bruce, who will go over all the details needed. Thanks again – Rebecca
Has tgere been one set up in richmond since your last posting?
Unfortunately we do not currently have anything set up in Richmond. If you would like more information on how to bring Starfish to your community, please send me an email at Meghan.Franklin@abbotsfordcommunityservices.com. I would love to connect with you!
Is there a branch that does Kelowna/Westbank? How does it work to be able to use the program?
Sorry for the delayed response Tanya! So far Kelowna/Westbank does not have a Starfish Pack location. To bring this program to your community takes many wonderful people. I’ve sent you an email with contact information. Thanks for asking! -Rebecca
Hello. Wondering if mission has this program aswell please?
Yes Mission has this program! Their page is in development. Please watch http://starfishpack.com/mission/ for updates! Contact info is location on their page. Thanks for inquiring!
I sent emails to 5 or 6 different people/clubs last spring to find out how to start a program in Terrace, but got no replies. Can you help?
Hi Chris, Thank you for your interest in starting a Starfish Pack location in Terrace. Have you tried contacting your local Rotary club? I have sent an email to a local club member who may be able to help. I’ll be in touch via email.
All the best,
Any plans underway for Victoria?
Thanks for asking! The closest plans are in Cowichan Valley! So many great things are happening to help kids in Victoria. We hope Starfish can be one of them!
All the best,
May I please have a contact email address for Bruce Beck? I wish to speak to him in regards to the Starfish program in Cowichan.
I have sent you an email with your request. Thank you!
If there is a need in White Rock and a program started, funding may be available. You are welcome to apply to Peace Arch Hospital Foundation’s Healthy Community Grant program. Grant details and application available at http://www.pahfoundation.ca/grants
Hi my leadership group has been coming to your Maple Ridge Starfish backpack Program and i just wanted to say how great and generous this is. You guys could be saving these peoples life and i hope you notice the difference you are making in this world. You are inspiring many people, im sure:]
How does a child get a backpack from the school? Do they have to register or anything?
Each Starfish Pack location varies slightly on the enrollment procedure. Generally, the first step to receiving a backpack is contacting the principal. If the program is in the school than there is a registration form that is needed to be filled out to enroll.
Hope that helps!
Hi, I was wondering what happens during the school breaks? How do the children get their backpacks, when off for the summer, OT spring break…etc.
Over Christmas break and Spring break, the children are sent home with backpacks that have extra food in them to last over the breaks since school is not in session. Normally the Starfish Pack Program only runs from September to June. This summer, Abbotsford is offering the program throughout the summer for the first time. The packs will be distributed bi-weekly through July and August at 4 different pick-up locations throughout the city. In order for children to participate, their parent must sign up ahead of time at http://www.abbotsfordfoodbank.com/starfishpack or call 604-743-0581. I hope that answered your question!
Hi there I was wondering who I can talk to about more detail of your program I am trying to build a business case so I can get my company to support your cause
Feel free to send me an email at Meghan.Franklin@abbotsfordcommunityservices.com, and I can give you more information!
Interested in volunteering. Living in Williams Lake B.C.
Hi Dyan, that is awesome! Please send me an email at Meghan.Franklin@abbotsfordcommunityservices.com, and I will be happy to get you connected with the volunteers in Williams Lake!
I am interested in volunteering to set up a program in West Kelowna, if there is not one already, or to help! Is there a contact person that I could connect with?
Hi Elisabeth, I would love to connect with you about this! Would you mind sending me an email at Meghan.Franklin@abbotsfordcommunityservices.com and I can get you more information?
I do not see Vancouver Eastside as a location. Is there a reason for this or has no one got around to establishing this?
Thank you for your comment! I have sent you an email to talk further. -Meghan