Starfish Is Starting Year Two: How Can You Help?
Our first year of Starfish Pack South Delta wrapped up successfully at the end of June! Starfish Pack is a program that follows the school year, so we ended when school ended and will pick up in the fall when schools are back in session.
As it was our first year, our goal was to start gradually and add schools to our program as we gained an understanding of how many schools we could sustain. We started with South Park Elementary School and expanded to five elementary schools to include Cliff Drive, Pebble Hill, Hawthorne, and Ladner Elementary. The number of packs delivered weekly grew from six on our first week to 23 by mid-January. We ended the 2019/2020 school year with 20 students in our program. This decrease in the number of packs means that some families are no longer in need of the program, which is a positive thing.
When the pandemic hit our province and forced us into isolation, we pivoted promptly and had the food picked up and delivered to a volunteer's garage by a North American Rail Products truck. It was then packed and delivered by as few people as possible with safety protocols in place. For sanitary reasons, we could no longer pass backpacks back and forth with families. Therefore, all of the food was placed in plastic shopping bags for delivery to the schools. The school administration saw to it that every family in need received their bag each week, and they were happy to do so because they saw what a difference these packs made in the lives of the students and their families. We continued this way with our planned schedule and completed all food deliveries until the end of the school year in June.
Now that we are moving ahead with plans for our second year, we have a better idea of what is involved with running this program than we did when we started just one year ago. Our goal for the future of Starfish Pack South Delta is that we would eventually be able to serve any student in need in all of our 10 public elementary schools. Year One allowed us to reach all the students in five elementary schools, so we are halfway there.
In order to reach our goal of serving all 10 elementary schools we are now asking for your financial support. It costs $55.00 per student, per month to run the Starfish Pack program. We are able to do so because of the amazing generosity of our church and our community.