Kalamalka Starfish Society doing its part to ensure families have a healthy supply of food

No child should go hungry

A North Okanagan group is doing what it can to feed hungry children and their families.

There are a surprising number of children in Vernon who face food insecurities on a daily basis, and the Kalamalka Starfish Society is doing its part to ensure families receive a healthy supply of food every weekend.

“Approximately one in five children live in poverty,” says Starfish co-chair Mary Jackson. “It is our hope that we can ease the stress of families who are experiencing food insecurities by providing a consistent, healthy supply of food for the weekends.”

Said one Vernon parent: “The Starfish Pack is a wonderful thing for us. It has freed up money for other things that otherwise we would not have or be able to do.”

Each pack provides enough food for two breakfasts, two lunches, two dinners, fresh fruit, and snacks for the weekend.

When Kalamalka Rotary Club started the Starfish Pack program in 2016, 20 packs were delivered to local schools.

Now in its fifth year, and thanks to community donations, the Kalamalka Starfish Society, which was formed with Kal Rotary members, provides 64 Starfish bags to 11 different schools.

“Eating a balanced, nutritious diet plays a key role in ensuring students come to school ready to learn,” said School District 22 Supt. Dr. Christine Perkins.

“The diverse selection of food offered in each Starfish bag introduces a variety of options, which we hope will lead to eating well-balanced meals on a regular basis. We want our students to eat well and learn well. Thanks to our partnership with Kalamalka Starfish Society, we will continue to provide healthy learning opportunities to all our students.”

“The Vernon community has been so supportive of the program, either through contributions of discounted goods, time or financially,” said society co-chair Krista Blankley.

For more information on the Starfish program or to make a donation, click here.

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