Did you know there are at least 400 students in Abbotsford who go to school every day hungry?
It’s prompting the Abbotsford Food Bank and the Abbotsford Rotary Club to open what it calls a “StarFish depot.”
Currently, the Starfish program provides 260 students in 20 schools with backpacks full of food to get them through the weekend.
But Bruce Beck with the rotary club says it’s hard to reach the kids over the holiday breaks.
He says a depot will provide the opportunity to expand both the amount of food and resources for entire families in need with school-age children.
“Hopefully moving forward, expand the program, the backpack is designed currently to provide food for one student to get through the weekend, although it has been our experience after getting feedback from the families involved that often times these backpacks that are designed for one kid are actually feeding families of four or five.”
Beck adds: “I can tell you definitely after having been involved for two years, the universal first response is shock. When we tell about the need, the first response is the number of 400 people can’t be right. The thing is, it’s probably low. The irony is a number of years ago, I think it eas five years ago, the TD bank did a survey of all municipalities in Canada, and they determined that Abbotsford is the largest single farm gate community in the country. We as a single community produce more agricultural product per hectare than any place else in the country, and yet we have hundreds of kids that are going hungry.”
The depot will open for the first time at 10 am on Thursday April 16.