Matching donations boost Kalamalka Rotary's Starfish pack program

Helping feed hungry kids

The Kalamalka Rotary Starfish pack program is getting a financial boost to help feed children in need.

Bell Lumber and Pole will be matching donations to the Kalamalka Starfish Society, up to $10,000 through Dec. 31.

Starfish says one in five children in B.C. lives in poverty and often goes more than a full day without eating a healthy meal.

The Starfish backpack program is working to address food insecurity, often due to financial constraints families across Canada are facing.

Greater Vernon families are not immune – about a third of those who access food banks in Vernon are under the age of 18.

The Starfish program provides a knapsack of food each week throughout the school year to school children who experience food insecurity.

Each pack provides food for two breakfasts, two lunches and two dinners and is supplemented by fresh fruit and vegetables, along with snacks.

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

The Kalamalka Rotary Club started the program in Vernon in 2016. It started with a pilot program of 20 packs, which was so successful it led to the program running throughout the following school year.

It now serves more than 115 knapsacks each week.

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