The Penticton Starfish Pack program has received a $5,000 donation from Cascades Casino in the run up to its first anniversary celebrations.
The Starfish Pack program provides backpacks of food to local school-aged children and their families on weekends, filled with food donated by the Penticton Rotary Club in partnership with Save-On Foods. The packs are given to kids in need on Fridays and are returned empty on Mondays, ready to begin the cycle again.
On April 16, Cascades Casino is hosting a first anniversary thank-you dinner for volunteers with the program, and marking it with $5,000 that will provide a further nine backpacks for a full year.
The positive response to the program has only convinced those involved that the services should be expanded.
"There is such a need in our community for this program. If money grew on trees, we would supply unlimited backpacks to all of the children in our community that go hungry on weekends,” said Tracy Van Raes, Starfish Pack Chair and Rotarian.
“The fact is, money doesn’t grow on trees. One backpack of food for a year costs $525 and so we are turning to our community and local businesses for assistance.”
The program works with the Okanagan Boys and Girls Club and is currently operating in over 15 cities around B.C.