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Two Rotary Starfish programs benefit from $10,000 donation

LiUNA! Local 1611 gave to Aldergrove and Abbotsford student backpack program
L-R Nav Malhotra, Charlie Fox, Nathan Ferguson, Greg Letkeman, Tom Miller at LiUNA! Local 1611 offices with $10,000 cheque for Starfish Backpack Programs in Aldergrove and Abbotsford. (Special to the Aldergrove Star)

The Aldergrove and Abbotsford Starfish Backpack programs are each $5,000 stronger thanks to a generous donation from the LiUNA! Local 1611 Construction and Specialized Workers’ Union.

The Starfish Backpack programs in the Fraser Valley have been providing weekend food for children from needy families for approximately six years.

The schools knew that hungry kids can’t learn, and thanks to generous donations from local organizations and individuals, the Rotary Clubs in Aldergrove and Abbotsford have been able to sustain and grow the much-needed program.

The cost for one backpack per child for the whole school year has risen from $525 to, in some cases, $600 each.

READ MORE: Aldergrove Rotary Club’s Starfish backpacks sent home with toques and scarves

Between them, the Aldergrove and Abbotsford Rotary clubs provide 380 backpacks full of food every Friday of the school year to children in need in 39 schools.

Nav Malhotra, the Business Manager at LiUNA! Local 1611, says for their organization, giving back to the community is a must. And in special times like these, with all the COVID-19 challenges, it’s even more important.

“We are glad that we are able to help hungry kids from families in need,” Malhotra said. LiUNA! Local 1611 also supports food banks, seniors organizations, and schools around the province.

Charlie Fox, the coordinator of the Aldergrove Starfish Backpack Program said that the donation from LiUNA! Local 1611 provided the funds necessary to add three more backpacks to one local elementary school.

For more information on the program, people cna visit


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