Rotary feeding hungry kids

The Rotary Club of Penticton is launching a program next month to feed hungry children.

While many local schools have breakfast clubs and in-school programs to to help kids start the day with a nutritious meal, the weekend can mean not having enough to eat and returning to school on Monday hungry and not ready to learn.

Penticton consistently ranks in the top 10 cities in B.C. for child poverty.

The Rotary Club is bringing the Starfish Pack program to Penticton to fight that young hunger. Since its launch in 2014, more than 600 backpacks in 22 B.C. schools are filled with food and sent home with kids each week.

“Initially, we will provide 10 elementary students with a backpack every Friday afternoon with enough food to help them throughout the weekend," said project chair Gordon Watson of the Rotary Club of Penticton.

“Starfish Packs will provide two breakfasts, two lunches and two dinners, as well as fresh fruit and snacks for local children in need to take home every weekend during school terms."

The program will start running on April 3 in partnership with Save-On-Foods, Okanagan Boys & Girls Club and the Community Foundation of the South Okanagan. While it is starting small, the Rotary Club believes the program will grow rapidly.

The cost for a backpack for one year is $535. Anyone who is interested in volunteering or sponsoring a Starfish Pack for a child in the community can visit the Starfish Pack website.

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