Wix Brown Elementary students Saje Keller

Langley Rotarians help feed hungry kids on weekends

A series of Langley service clubs are providing food to students in need.

Michaela Garstin

Special to the Langley Advance

It’s heartbreaking for teachers in the Langley school district to see their students arrive to class hungry on Monday mornings.

For a number of reasons, some local students don’t have enough to eat during the weekends.

They arrive at school fatigued and have a difficult time focusing on their school work.

This is where and why the Rotary Club’s Starfish Pack program comes in, said Dorothy McKim, president of the Rotary Club of Langley Central.

Backpacks full of healthy and easy-to-prepare food are being handed out to elementary and middle school students to take home on Fridays, she explained.

There is enough food to last the weekend, a gap in time when the kids can’t rely on their schools’ hot breakfast and lunch programs.

“All the food is purchased because of its nutritional value. We have also made sure the kids will like it, so they will eat it over the weekend,” McKim said.

Fifty children have been identified as being in need of such assistance, so the Rotary Club is contributing partial proceeds from its recent 26th annual Fraser Valley Wine Fest to this new local program.

The total number of backpacks will be determined when the final fundraising total comes in, McKim said.

At a cost of $525 per student for the academic year, the backpacks contain easy-to-prepare, kid-friendly food, such as peanut butter, granola bars, cans of ravioli, and crackers that are carefully selected for their nutritional worth.

“We want to ensure it’s easy to prepare so it’s easier for the kids and families,” said McKim, adding the food, which will be donated by local grocery stores, is microwaveable if it needs to be heated.

“There is enough food for two breakfasts, two lunches and two dinners,” she elaborated.

The Starfish Pack program was started by Rotary in Abbotsford during the 2013-14 school year.

During the day, 400 students in that district use hot breakfast and lunch programs, and an estimated 300 of these students went without nutritional food on the weekends.

Thanks to the Abbotsford Rotary Club, 263 students from 22 schools were given the opportunity to take part in the program.

Other Rotary Clubs from Langley are now initiating the program locally.

In October, Rotary Club Langley Sunrise supplied 21 backpacks to Wix Brown Elementary and Coghlan Fundamental Elementary – just in time for the Thanksgiving weekend.

Aldergrove Rotary Club began its Starfish program back in April, and supports 50 students from Parkside and Shortreed Elementary schools, as well as Betty Gilbert Middle School.

Students in the leadership program at Brookswood and Aldergrove Secondary schools are helping stock the backpacks, and volunteers deliver them to the elementary schools.

 

Just Posted

Twilight Drive-In announces open season for moviegoers next Friday

Opening weekend will showcase a double feature with Aquaman at 7:15 p.m. and Glass at 9:50 p.m.

From a drunk judge to Clifford Olson: George Garrett recounts a life in B.C. news radio

New book from ‘Intrepid Reporter’ George Garrett offers readers a glimpse behind the headlines

Elementary b-ball teams receive surprise game visit from ACSS Totems

Two grade 5 co-ed basketball teams were cheered on by players from the highschool Totems team.

Looking Back: Live rats brought to council, ducks bombed with food

Our community’s stories, told through the files of the Langley Advance.

Our View: Carbon tax changes good for B.C.

Using tax money to fund green projects is a good move by the government.

Sell regulated heroin to curb B.C.’s overdose problem: report

B.C. Centre on Substance Use points to organized crime and money-laundering as contributing factors

Galchenyuk scores in OT as Coyotes edge Canucks 3-2

Vancouver manages single point as NHL playoff chase continues

B.C. legislature moving suspended staff controversy to outside review

Whale watching, Seattle Mariners trips billed as emergency preparedness, Speaker Darryl Plecas says

Two boys saved after falling through ice in Coquitlam

RCMP say a Good Samaritan pulled the kids to safety

More people signing up for compulsory vaccines

Maple Ridge mom says public tired of hearing about measles

UPDATE: Man charged in stabbing of woman, off-duty cop outside B.C. elementary school

Manoj George, 49, is facing two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon after the incident on Wednesday, Feb. 20.

Why do zebras have stripes? Perhaps to dazzle away flies

Researchers from University of Bristol look into why zebras have stripes

Poll: More voters believe Canada doing worse under Trudeau government

22 per cent believed the country is doing better and 27 per cent said things are the same

HBC shuttering Home Outfitters across Canada

North America’s oldest retailer is revamping its various stores to improve profitability

Most Read