A community program is keeping Vernon students from going hungry.
The Starfish Pack Program has grown from 20 backpacks in one school last year, to 67 recipients at six local schools today.
Dr. Carmen Larsen from Kalamalka Rotary says they’ve had overwhelming support from students, parents and the community.
“The backpacks go home on Friday, and they contain two breakfasts, two lunches, two dinners, snacks and fresh fruit for the weekend, so these are kids that use breakfast clubs and lunch programs through the week,” Larsen tells Kiss FM.
Don Hanson, communications manager for Tolko Industries, says they recently got on board, sponsoring ten backpacks at schools in Lumby and Lavington.
“It really was a nice fit for what we want to do in the community, and the fact that we can support kids in Lumby and Lavington where we have operations, it just made sense for us,” says Hanson.
Great West Equipment is also sponsoring ten backpacks.
“Youth is often our focus as there is great potential in every child,” says Rob Rintoul, chief financial officer. “Giving them an opportunity to succeed with healthy food is something we felt fit our support objectives and is a great program we hope takes hold in many other communities.”
The program provides 67 backpacks to children at six schools in the Vernon District, at a cost of $525 per child for the school year.
Kal Rotary past president Mary Jackson says Save On Foods is one of the partners.
“They provide all the food for the pack sacks at cost, so it’s a very big savings and we’re able to make the financial commitment of $525 per knapsack,” says Jackson.