North Delta Rotary Club looking to expand its weekend meal program for kids

The Starfish Pack program provides kids in need with enough food to feed themselves over the weekend.

The North Delta Rotary Club is asking for the community’s help to expand its Starfish Pack program

The Delta chapter of a program keeping kids from going hungry over the weekend is aiming to expand its reach to help at more schools within Delta.

The Starfish Pack program, a collaboration between the North Delta Rotary Club and the Delta School District, provides kids in need with enough food to feed themselves over the weekend.

Though in-school breakfast and lunch programs provide a basic level of food security during the school week, many of the children who rely on those school programs go without eating until they return to school on Monday morning.

In 2013, B.C. had the second highest rates of child poverty in Canada, according to the province’s 2015 child poverty report card.

“Really, there isn’t any area in our community that is untouched by this kind of need. There are families at risk dotting all over Delta,” said Delta School Board Chair Laura Dixon.

Besides keeping a child fed, Dixon said the program has a way of breaking down the barriers between local families and the school itself. For example, a child who may be seen as disrespectful could actually just be feeling the effects of not having eaten for a few days, a scenario Dixon says can stifle dialogue between teachers and parents if left undiagnosed.

The North Delta Rotary Club is asking for the community’s help to expand its Starfish Pack program which provides kids with enough food to feed themselves over the weekend.

The North Delta Rotary Club is asking for the community’s help to expand its Starfish Pack program which provides kids with enough food to feed themselves over the weekend. Photo submitted

The program began in Abbotsford in 2013 as a partnership between the local Rotary Club and the Food Bank and it quickly grew to help hundreds of children in 22 schools across the district. Since then, Starfish Pack programs have cropped up in more than a dozen cities across the province.

North Delta Rotarian Kim Kendall said the club is currently working with one North Delta school and has been approached by two others. But meals can’t be paid for with goodwill alone, and the Rotary Club wants to make sure it can feed a child for a whole year before enrolling him or her in the program.

“We will not take on a school unless we have the funds to provide backpacks,” Kendall said.

The Starfish Pack program’s growth is directly tied to the amount of money available. It costs approximately $525 to feed one student for an entire school year and thanks to Save-On-Foods at Scott Road and 72nd Ave., which provides the weekly groceries at cost, the program can maximize every single donated dollar.

Nevertheless, the Rotary Club is utterly dependent on local businesses like Save-On-Foods and community partners like Deltassist to keep the packs full week in and week out. With interest from potential sponsors growing, Kendall said the club’s going to keep serving as many kids as it can.

“We might not be able to help all the kids in Delta, but we are going to help one kid at a time.”

To find out more about the Starfish Pack program or to make a donation, go to starfishpack.com.

 

Just Posted

Two women recognized for multiculturalism, anti-racism work in Surrey

Awards ceremony held on International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination

VIDEO: One person in hospital after head-on crash in Delta

Ladner Trunk Road between 80th and 72nd Streets is closed. Police say to avoid the area.

Homeless deaths in Surrey quadruple between 2007 and 2016

Deaths in the city spiked in 2015 from the previous year

Surrey’s truck survey closes Sunday

‘Sustainable solutions for authorized commercial truck parking’ sought

Sunny’s Bridal in Surrey to showcase at Vancouver Fashion Week

Business got its start in south Vancouver in the 1990s

VIDEO: Restaurant robots are already in Canada

Robo Sushi in Toronto has waist-high robots that guide patrons to empty seats

Vancouver Giant named to Western Conference first-tier all-star team

Young hockey defenceman Bowen Byram is once again lauded for his outstanding efforts on the ice

Permit rejected to bring two cheetahs to B.C.

Earl Pfeifer owns two cheetahs, one of which escaped in December 2015

Real-life tsunami threat in Port Alberni prompts evacuation updates

UBC study says some people didn’t recognize the emergency signal

Care providers call for B.C. seniors’ watchdog to step down

The association also asks the province to conduct an audit and review of the mandate of her office

Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from B.C. roaster recalled due to botulism scare

“If you purchased N7 Nitro Cold Brew Coffee from Cherry Hill … do not drink it.”

North Delta happenings: week of March 21

Events, courses and clubs listings for North Delta

B.C. man gets award for thwarting theft, sexual assault – all in 10 minutes

Karl Dey helped the VPD take down a violent sex offender

Baby left alone in vehicle in B.C. Walmart parking lot

Williams Lake RCMP issue warning after attending complaint at Walmart Wednesday

Most Read