Rotarian Michelle Owen, left, passes Starfish food bags to Suwilaaks vice principal Roberta Clarke for delivery to students who no longer can take them home from school because of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo courtesy Ron Malmas)

Rotarian Michelle Owen, left, passes Starfish food bags to Suwilaaks vice principal Roberta Clarke for delivery to students who no longer can take them home from school because of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Photo courtesy Ron Malmas)

Starfish Pack program provides extra food over holidays

Kids in the program went home with bags packed with two weeks’ worth of meals and snacks

The Rotary Club’s weekend food program continues into the new year, and provided a little extra help going into the holidays.

The Starfish Packs program was created to address the need of students, some of whom were arriving to class on Monday mornings without having had a proper meal over the weekend.

“On the last Friday before Christmas break the bags were double packed,” said Ron Malmas, chair of the Rotary Club of Terrace Skeena Valley and coordinator of the Starfish Pack program. “They were very full indeed as the student recipients received two weeks’ worth of food.”

The number of students seeking help soared to 170 after the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. Though the number of overall students enrolled in the program has decreased to 98, it still remains above the pre-pandemic number of 60.

Working in collaboration with the Coast Mountain school district and Save On Foods, the Starfish program has delivered over 5,200 food packs to children who need them over the last four years. It is also supported by local volunteers and businesses that have supplied grants.

The packs contain two breakfasts, two lunches, two dinners, some snacks, and three pieces of fruit, and are given to the students on Friday afternoons after school.

With rising food costs, however, the program is always seeking more donations.

“The cost of the program last year was $82,000 for food alone,” said Malmas. “Due to the increased food costs, the 2022 budget is for $125,000 to care for a possible 150 kids.”

charityfood securityHoliday giving

Be Among The First To Know

Sign up for a free account today, and receive top headlines in your inbox Monday to Saturday.

Sign Up with google Sign Up with facebook

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Reset your password

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

A link has been emailed to you - check your inbox.



Don't have an account? Click here to sign up
Pop-up banner image