Members of the MeadowRidge Rotary Club raise money for the Starfish Pack Program. (Special to The News)

Members of the MeadowRidge Rotary Club raise money for the Starfish Pack Program. (Special to The News)

Hundreds raised for children in need in Maple Ridge Pitt Meadows school district

Members of MeadowRidge Rotary Club sold hot dogs outside of FreshCo on Canada Day

A Canada Day fundraiser for children in need netted more than $700.

Members of the MeadowRidge Rotary Club raised a total of $757.80, selling hot dogs outside of FreshCo in Maple Ridge on Friday, July 1.

FreshCo store owner and manager, Kevin Marshall, and Lee Folz, FreshCo department manager provided, the hot dogs, buns, bags of chips, condiments, pop, in addition to the actual barbecue and a basket of goods for a prize draw.

Marshall also put his barbecuing skills to work for the event.

All money will go towards the Starfish Pack Program that provides food to hungry children over the weekends when they are at school.

Currently around 160 Starfish packs are provided every week for the whole school year at 16 schools throughout the district.

“With your donations, we hope to continue, starting September 2022 and possibly increase that number,” said Ineke Boekhorst, chair of the Starfish Backpack Program for Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.

According to SD42, there could be up to 300 students in need of assistance next school year, added Boekhorst.

The program started in 2013 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.

READ MORE: Feeding a connection to Maple Ridge schools

ALSO RELATED: Starfish program in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows hoping to expand

It started in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows in 2016.

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.

For more information go to StarfishPack.com or email Ineke: iboekhorst@telus.net.


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Members of the MeadowRidge Rotary Club raise money for the Starfish Pack Program. (Special to The News)

Members of the MeadowRidge Rotary Club raise money for the Starfish Pack Program. (Special to The News)