Members of the Daybreak Rotary Club of Williams Lake gathered this week along with Roger Delisle of Home Hardware to discuss the launching of the Starfish Pack program.

Members of the Daybreak Rotary Club of Williams Lake gathered this week along with Roger Delisle of Home Hardware to discuss the launching of the Starfish Pack program.

Starfish Pack launches in Williams Lake

Williams Lake has become one of a handful of communities around the province to launch a program that feeds hungry children on weekends.

Williams Lake has become one of a handful of communities around the province to launch a program that feeds hungry children on weekends.

Called Starfish Pack, the charity, founded by the Rotary Club of Abbotsford and the Abbotsford Food Bank, focuses on providing food for children in need on the weekends at a time when they are not able to access school breakfast and lunch programs.

The program was made possible in Williams Lake thanks to a partnership between Williams Lake Daybreak Rotary Club and local businesses who  can sponsor a child for a year at a cost of $525 each.

“Starfish Packs is one of the easiest things we’ve ever done as Rotarians,” said Daybreak Rotary Club of Williams Lake president Ron Malmas. “We can see our money going directly to filling the packs every weekend.”

The way the program works is that teachers select students in need of support, then those children are provided with a backpack stocked with two breakfasts, two lunches, two dinners and snacks.

Malmas said the program is 100 per cent community funded, relying entirely on local community support for both funding and volunteers.

“We don’t add a single new student to the program until we have 100 per cent of the funding for the entire school year in our hands and a team of volunteers committed to support them,” Malmas said.

Besides being a Rotarian, Malmas is also a business sponsor of Starfish Pack as manager of Compassionate Care Funerals.

“There are so many kids that are hungry in our community. Helping with Starfish Packs is a way we can feed these kids so they can learn with full bellies,” Malmas said.

The Child Development Centre is one of almost a dozen local community support and volunteer groups that will provide financial support and volunteers to do the weekly shopping, packing and delivery of the backpacks.

“We are excited to launch this program to support the families of our communities,” said CDC executive director, Nancy Gale.

Starfish Packs will be delivered this school year in Abbotsford, Surrey, Chilliwack, Delta, Aldergrove, Langley, Mission, Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, Port Coquitlam, Vernon and, for the first time, Williams Lake.  All local donations remain in the communities where they are made.

In a letter regarding the Starfish Program, Harj Manhas, assistant superintendent of schools for School District 27, thanked Williams Lake Daybreak Rotary Club for their work.

“This food will assist our vulnerable families. It is organizations such as yours that make it a pleasure to live in this community,” stated Manhas. “You step in when there is a void in a family’s life.”

At a cost of $525 per child for the school year, the program only spends $12-$15 per week to provide six meals in each weekly backpack. Currently there are enough business sponsors to feed 12 children in Williams Lake for one year.

To find out more, go to www.starfishpack.com or to become a business or personal partner call Ron Malmas at 250-267-9497 or to make a donation to the Williams Lake program visit the Child Development Centre, 690 Second Ave. N., Williams Lake.

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

Just Posted

A dose of COVID-19 vaccine is prepared at a vaccination clinic in Montreal’s Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
39 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health region

The total number of cases in the region since the pandemic began is now at 7,334

Members of the Tl’etinqox First Nations are awaiting word of when they will receive their second dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
‘We need the second round’: Tl’etinqox Chief Joe Alphonse questions vaccine roll-out

It’s been 42 days since Tl’etinqox First Nation members received their first dose of Moderna

A drive-thru restaurant and beer and wine store is being proposed by Broadway Landco Management Ltd. for the former Chemo RV site at 1704 Broadway Ave. South. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Drive-thru restaurant, beer and wine store proposed for Williams Lake

Owners of property at 1704 Broadway Ave. South have applied for a zoning amendment

Avalanche Canada has issued a special avalanche warning for the Cariboo Mountains effective through the weekend. (Wes Gregg photo)
The city of Williams Lake has received provincial funding for a proposed boardwalk connecting the RC Cotton Trail to the River Valley Recreational Trail. (City of Williams Lake rough visualization of the proposal)
$550,000 provincial funding announced for Williams Lake boardwalk trail

The boardwalk will connect the new RC Cotton Trail to the river valley

Dr. Bonnie Henry leaves the podium after talking about the next steps in B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Plan during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, January 22, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
COVID: 589 new cases in B.C., and 7 new deaths

No new outbreaks being reported Feb. 26

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson presents bill to delay B.C.’s budget as late as April 30, and allow further spending before that, B.C. legislature, Dec. 8, 2020. (Hansard TV)
How big is B.C.’s COVID-19 deficit? We’ll find out April 20

More borrowing expected as pandemic enters second year

The first of 11 Dash 8 Q400 aircraft's have arrived in Abbotsford. Conair Group Inc. will soon transform them into firefighting airtankers. (Submitted)
Abbotsford’s Conair begins airtanker transformation

Aerial firefighting company creating Q400AT airtanker in advance of local forest fire season

The Canada Revenue Agency says there were 32 tax fraud convictions across the country between April 2019 and March 2020. (Pixabay)
Vancouver man sentenced to 29 months, fined $645K for tax evasion, forgery

Michael Sholz reportedly forged documents to support ineligible tax credits linked to homeownership

Then-Liberal leader Andrew Wilkinson looks on as MLA Shirley Bond answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria. (Chad Hipolito / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
B.C. Liberal party to choose next leader in February 2022

Candidates have until Nov. 30 to declare whether they are running

After nearly 10 months of investigations, Mounties have made an arrest in the tripping of an elderly woman in Burnaby this past April. (RCMP handout)
VIDEO: Mounties charge suspect for tripping elderly woman near Metrotown in April

32-year-old Hayun Song is accused of causing bodily harm to an 84-year-old using her walker

Most Read