Rotary donates over $33,000 to the Starfish packs

The Starfish Backpack program was designed to bridge existing in-school breakfast and lunch programs

Leslie McConnell- Abbotsford Rotary President

The Rotary Club of Abbotsford recently presented the Abbotsford Food Bank a cheque for $33,268, in support of the Starfish Backpack Program.

The Rotary Club of Abbotsford has been working with the Abbotsford Food Bank to help feed hungry children and families since the spring of 2013. The Starfish Backpack program was designed to bridge existing in-school breakfast and lunch programs with the absence of any food for the students over weekends.

Bill Robson, district governor for Rotary 5050, which consists of nearly 60 Rotary Clubs in both B.C. and Washington, also participated in presentation, said, “The Abbotsford Starfish Backpack program is an amazing program which helps so many young people in this area.”

As a result of Abbotsford Rotary’s leadership and innovation, Robson announced that many other B.C. communities have implemented the Starfish Backpack program. National media attention on the Starfish program has resulted in inquiries from outside B.C. as other communities search for ways to address local child hunger.

Leslie McConnell, president of the Abbotsford Rotary Club, expressed her pride in the club’s leadership role in expanding the program.

“The fact that 250-plus Abbotsford children are now being fed each weekend as a result of our combined efforts is such an accomplishment.”

This program has inspired the Abbotsford community to get involved and has over 50 local businesses, service clubs and faith groups involved. A full list of community partners can be found at www.starfishpack.com/abbotsford-partners

McConnell also introduced Jaslyne Sunday, a local third-year Pacific Summit College student who is being funded by the Abbotsford Rotary Club as the first “Starfish Intern.”  The pilot project created in partnership with the Abbotsford Food Bank, will see the Rotary Club provide funds for three years to local post-secondary students studying in the areas of social service and non-profit management and opportunity to assist and learn from the Starfish Pack program while earning academic credits.

Dave Murray, Manager of the Abbotsford Food Bank, received the latest financial contribution from the club. “Child hunger in Abbotsford is not a new problem or a simple one to solve, but Starfish Packs is bringing both community awareness and resources to support local kids regularly going hungry in a way we’ve never seen before.

Abbotsford Community Service, of which the food bank is part, recently acknowledged the leadership of the Abbotsford Rotary Club in promoting Starfish Packs in Abbotsford by making the club the very first group recipient of its annual Community Builder Award.

While the program has expanded rapidly since the first school of six students in 2013 to current levels, estimates from Abbotsford School District 34 indicate over 400 local students who come to school on a daily basis without having breakfast or lunch. Donors and volunteers are still required to meet the need locally. To donate, get involved or support the Starfish Pack Program, please visit www.starfishpack.com.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Lavender hand sanitizer sale raises cash for Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation

Golf course and lavender farm partner up to support health care in the Fraser Valley

Man wanted for ramming police car and almost hitting bystanders in Abbotsford

Police say Lorne Guilbault ‘engages in high-risk criminal driving behaviour’

Wings and Wheels fundraiser ready to roll in Abbotsford this weekend

Unique collection of cars invading Tradex for drive-thru experiences on Saturday and Sunday

‘Unusual smell in water’ not a health concern, says City of Abbotsford

Odour is just temporary due to treatment-plant maintenance, city says

‘Agitated’ man pulls out knife on 3 people in Abbotsford

Witnesses sought for incident on Monday night near city hall

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Horvat scores 2 as Vancouver Canucks beat Blues 5-2 in NHL playoff opener

Game 2 in best-of-seven series goes Friday night

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

High-volume littering at Cape Scott draws ire from hiking groups

Popular Vancouver Island hiking spot not closing, but frustration about crowding grows

SFU to drop ‘Clan’ varsity team name

The ‘Clan’ name is shortened from ‘Clansmen,’ and was introduced roughly 55 years ago

BCSPCA partners with Crime Stoppers

Many call in to the SPCA, but want to remain anonymous: Eccles

New Tory leader must build a strong team in Commons and for the campaign: Scheer

Scheer marked his final day in the House of Commons today as leader of the Opposition

B.C. to hire 500 more COVID-19 contact tracers ahead of fall

Contract tracers add an ‘extra layer’ in the fight against the novel coronavirus

Feds commit $305M in additional funds for Indigenous communities during COVID-19

Money can be used to battle food insecurity and support children and mental health

Most Read