Starfish Backpack program allows students to take food home for their families over the weekend. (Langley Advance Times files)

Langley School District Foundation asking for donations to feed hungry students

Organization has put out call to businesses to sponsor gift cards in wake of COVID school closures

While the Langley School District Foundation (LSDF) has committed to aid all school district families who need help feeding their children during the coronavirus pandemic, the organization said the need is far greater than at first anticipated.

Susan Cairns, executive director of LSDF, recently announced that eligible low income families would receive $50 gift cards every week to shop for groceries while schools are closed.

The idea was implemented to replace initiatives such as the Starfish Backpack program and the Breakfast program, which help feed students throughout the day and throughout weekend.

READ MORE: Langley ER nurses, doctors pay it forward to local students

“In my first missive out to the community, the results were fantastic. Many associations, businesses, corporations and individuals immediately offered help,” Cairns said. “However, as the lists came in from the schools, it became abundantly clear that the need was far more than we ever thought.”

Help has certainly made itself known; Aldergrove Rotarians donated $8,000 to the cause – a group that had initially been responsible for launching the Starfish program in the first place.

Spake Media Inc. has sent out a challenge to businesses to match their $10,000 commitment to the gift card program. Another, Infinity Properties has sent out a challenge to all their affiliates, sub-contractors and vendors to donate to the Foundation – Infinity will match donations up to $10,000.

Langley School District Foundation has also seen support from Langley Sunrise Rotary, United Churches of Langley, Premium Brands, Breakfast Clubs of Canada, Vancouver Sun Adopt-a-School, Billy Vanderkerkhove, Re/Max Treeland, Envision Financial, the Jewish Foundation and, according to Cairns, dozens others.

“Because the Foundation has had to cancel both of its signature fundraising events – the Grand Prix Gala and annual golf tournament — we were wondering if all who normally sponsor and donate to our event could redirect your donations to the Food for Thought Coronavirus Fund,” Cairns said.

To donate, people are asked to go online to www.langleyschooldistrictfoundation.com or send cheques to Langley School District Foundation, 4875 222nd St, Langley, BC. V3A 3Z7. Attn: Susan Cairns.

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

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Email: ryan.uytdewilligen@langleyadvancetimes.com

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