Staff members from the Westminster Savings downtown Maple Ridge location including from left – Kim Borthwick, branch manager Shiela Guinan and Parita Patel – hand Ineke Boekhorst, with the Starfish Pack Program, a cheque for $2,300. (Special to The News)

Staff members from the Westminster Savings downtown Maple Ridge location including from left – Kim Borthwick, branch manager Shiela Guinan and Parita Patel – hand Ineke Boekhorst, with the Starfish Pack Program, a cheque for $2,300. (Special to The News)

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

Westminster Savings staff raised the money for the Starfish Pack Program

More elementary school students in SD42 will not be going hungry for the duration of the school year thanks to a generous donation from staff at Westminster Savings Credit Union.

Shiela Guinan, branch manager of the downtown Maple Ridge Westminster Savings location, along with fellow staff members Kim Borthwick and Parita Patel, handed Ineke Boekhorst, with the Meadow Ridge Rotary’s Starfish Pack Program, a cheque for $2,300.

“This amount will provide a Starfish Pack to four local elementary students for an entire school year,” said Boekhorst.

READ MORE: Starfish program in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows hoping to expand

The program, launched in 2016, provides food to children who might otherwise go hungry in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows during the school year.

Every Friday each child in the program gets a backpack of food that they take home for their weekend meals, including nutritious snacks.

The Starfish Pack Program currently delivers 132 bags every week to 15 elementary schools in Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows.

READ MORE: Starfish Backpack program in demand

At the beginning of the school year teachers across the district identified about 300 students who are in need of the program.

Across the province about 2,713 packs are served to 168 schools in 21 cities.

To feed one child for the school year costs $575.

The program has been supported by Westminister Savings Credit Union, Save-On Foods at Valley Fair Mall and other local organizations.

Volunteers at Burnett Fellowship pack the backpacks every Thursday, in addition to fundraising.


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