Ineke Boekhorst, chair of the Starfish Backpack Program for Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, is hoping people are generous this year for the annual Christmas Plant Fundraiser for the Starfish Pack Program. (The News files)

Ineke Boekhorst, chair of the Starfish Backpack Program for Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows, is hoping people are generous this year for the annual Christmas Plant Fundraiser for the Starfish Pack Program. (The News files)

Christmas plant fundraiser for hungry children in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

Every penny raised will go to the Starfish Pack Program

Festive plants with handmade cards will make gift-giving easier this Christmas season with proceeds going to a worthy cause.

The MeadowRidge Rotary Club is once again featuring their annual Christmas Plant Fundraiser with all proceeds towards the Starfish Pack Program.

Each year, every single penny raised will go towards the pack program that feeds children in need over the weekends during the school year.

The program started as a pilot project with six backpacks as a response to an Abbotsford teacher’s cry for help when she found herself feeding her kindergarten students who were coming to school on Monday hungry.

Every week volunteers fill backpacks with two breakfasts, two lunches, two dinners, and snacks and then deliver them to local schools. The students return the empty backpacks the following week to be refilled the following weekend.

There is a cycle of eight child-friendly menus. The cost is about $600 to fill one student’s backpack for the entire school year.

“To date we will be short about $25,000 on our fundraising efforts to continue the program until the end of June 2022,” noted Ineke Boekhorst, chair of the Starfish Backpack Program for Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.

Every single penny they raise will be used for food in the Starfish Packs.

“So please be generous,” appealed Boekhorst.

READ MORE: Feeding a connection to Maple Ridge schools

Currently the Starfish Pack Program is serving 135 hungry local children every weekend in 16 local schools in the district.

The Christmas plant sale will feature four types of plant arrangements this year including: a seven inch snowstar glitter planter, a four inch tree with lights, a two inch mini planter, and a 10 inch by five inch willow sleigh.

All plants have been provided at cost by Maple Ridge Florist and the cost includes a hand-made card, all taxes., and free delivery in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.

There will also be an option to donate plants to the McKinney House Hospice where they will be delivered on the donor’s behalf before Christmas.

“Each year we deliver a number of plants there, which is much appreciated by patients and staff,” remarked Boekhorst.

Plants will be available starting at Dec. 7th for pick up or for delivery in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows only.

RELATED: Thousands donated to help hungry students in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year, like last year, plants will only be sold online.

Boekhorst is hoping people will spread the word for them.

To order plants go to meadowridgerotary.ca or call 604-462-0377.

For more about the Meadow Ridge Starfish Pack Program go to starfishpack.com/meadowridge/.


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