Vernon RCMP get behind Starfish pack program for hungry children

Cops help feed kids

Members of Vernon's RCMP detachment have chipped in to support the local Starfish meal program for hungry kids.

"We're happy to pitch in and support the Vernon Kalamalka Starfish Society by delivering these food packages to students in need at our local schools," the detachment tweeted this week, along with a photo of an officer beside a trolley full of groceries.

The Starfish pack program was started by the Kalamalka Rotary Club in 2016.

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

The club started with 20 packs and now provides 93 Starfish backpacks to more than 120 local children.

The menu is rotated on a five-week basis and participating schools and students are selected with advice from School District 22 and permissions from families.

Every Friday after school, students pick up their backpack at school and return the empty backpack the following week for refilling.

“The program has really helped our family make ends meet in real times of need. Our children felt really special being able to bring the backpack home and contribute to our food situation,” said one parent.

At a cost of $575 per child for the school year, the program spends about $16.50 per week per pack, with discounted groceries from Save-On-Foods.

Approximately one in five children in B.C. live in poverty and often go more than a full day without eating a healthy meal, according to the Rotary Club.

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