Aldergrove Rotarians have found a way to feed Starfish students at home

Aldergrove Rotarians have found a way to feed Starfish students at home

Club donates $8,000 to distribute grocery gift cards to Aldergrove families during COVID-19 crisis

Schools may be closed and lives everywhere upended by the COVID-19 pandemic, but Aldergrove Rotary’s Starfish Backpack Program is nowhere near stopping.

The club has 66 local families to feed, and provide with essential supplies through the school year even when it is not in session, said club member Janet Ingram-Johnson.

To continue to feed those Aldergrove families, Aldergrove Rotarians are donating $8,000 to the Langley School District Foundation, whose executive director, Susan Cairns, is co-ordinating a gift card program to address the growing needs of the community.

Normally, big blue backpacks get passed out to hungry elementary and middle school students, filled with nutritious foods that the child’s whole family could enjoy.

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, social distancing and other public health restrictions, have nixed the Rotary Club’s usual distribution channels.

But “thanks to our new partnership with the school district foundation, this is no longer a concern,” says the club’s Starfish coordinator, Charlie Fox.

“The foundation will make sure they continue to receive supplies for the duration of the school shutdown,” he said.

RELATED: Many Langley students could go hungry without school food programs during COVID-19 pandemic

Starfish families will receive $50 in gift cards to Save-On-Foods or Otter Co-op each week, until the end of the school closure – possibly even the rest of the school year – to make sure their children don’t go hungry, Cairns confirmed.

“It’s a perfect fit,” Fox said about the program adaptation.

The Starfish Backpack program, which began as an Aldergrove Rotary pilot project, has given more than 10,000 backpacks during its five years of operation, Ingram-Johnson expounded.

It garners support from various local businesses throughout the year – including Boston Pizza, Jodi Steeves Realty, the Langley Good Times Cruise-In, and the Thank You For Caring Society.

READ MORE: 30 years later, Aldergrove Rotary Club still going strong

For now, during its enforced hiatus, donations to the Aldergrove Rotary Club’s Starfish Backpack Program can be made online at starfishpack.com by clicking the “donate” button and selecting “Aldergrove.”

Tax receipts will be issued by Langley’s Encompass Support Services Society, which in normal times facilitates food supplies from Save-On and the Co-op for the packs.

Since March 17, the club has refrained from meeting Friday mornings to curb COVID-19 spread.

CoronavirusLangley School District

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Langley City’s Twin Rinks is one of the Lower Mainland sites where Adult Safe Hockey League adult hockey has resumed for the modified fall season. (Canlan Ice Sports Corp. Facebook)
Beer league hockey starts fall season at rinks in Langley, Burnaby and the North Shore

New rules are meant to minimize unintentional contact, including new ways to do face offs

Langley RCMP issued a $2,300 fine to the Riverside Calvary church in Langley in the 9600 block of 201 Street for holding an in-person service on Sunday, Nov. 29, 2020, despite a provincial COVID-19 related ban (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
Updated: Langley church fined for holding in-person Sunday service

Calvary church was fined $2,300 for defying provincial order

(Black Press Media files)
‘Potentially damaging’ winds expected in Metro Vancouver

Wind is expected to pick up late Sunday night

A hand-drawn ‘stairway to heaven’ was part of an memorial left for a cyclist who died from a medical emergency near 206 Street and 66 Avenue on Friday, Nov. 27, 2020 (Dan Ferguson/Langley Advance Times)
Children leave memorial for cyclist who died in Langley

‘Hope you make it to heaven’ the note reads

(Dave Landine/Facebook)
VIDEO: Dashcam captures head-on crash between snowplow and truck on northern B.C. highway

Driver posted to social media that he walked away largely unscathed

Black Press Media and BraveFace have come together to support children facing life-threatening conditions. Net proceeds from these washable, reusable, three-layer masks go to Make-A-Wish Foundation BC & Yukon.
Put on a BraveFace: Help make children’s wishes come true

Black Press Media, BraveFace host mask fundraiser for Make-A-Wish Foundation

A B.C. Ambulance Service paramedic wearing a face mask to curb the spread of COVID-19 moves a stretcher outside an ambulance at Royal Columbia Hospital, in New Westminster, B.C., on Sunday, November 29, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Top doctor urges Canadians to limit gatherings as ‘deeply concerning’ outbreaks continue

Canada’s active cases currently stand at 63,835, compared to 53,907 a week prior

A Canadian Pacific freight train travels around Morant’s Curve near Lake Louise, Alta., on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014. A study looking at 646 wildlife deaths along the railway tracks in Banff and Yoho national parks in Alberta and British Columbia has found that train speed is one of the biggest factors. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Study finds train speed a top factor in wildlife deaths in Banff, Yoho national parks

Research concludes effective mitigation could address train speed and ability of wildlife to see trains

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A airport worker is pictured at Vancouver International Airport in Richmond, B.C. Wednesday, March 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Canada extends COVID restrictions for non-U.S. travellers until Jan. 21 amid second wave

This ban is separate from the one restricting non-essential U.S. travel

The Abbotsford Police Department is investigating a shooting on Adair Avenue on Saturday night. (Photo by Dale Klippenstein)
Drive-by shooting in Abbotsford targeted home with young children, police say

Investigators believe home was mistakenly targeted by assailants

Menno Place. (Google Street View image.)
B.C. care home looks to hire residents’ family members amid COVID-19-related staff shortage

Family would get paid as temporary workers, while having chance to see loved ones while wearing PPE

(File photo)
Vancouver police warn of toxic drug supply after 7 people overdose at one party

Seven people between the ages of 25 to 42 were taken to hospital for further treatment.

Most Read