Program to feed Penticton children in need returns

The Rotary Club of Penticton’s program provides food for students in six Penticton schools.

The Rotary Club of Penticton is continuing their Starfish Pack program and providing children and their families with food for a third year.

“There is such a need in our community for this program,” said Tracy Van Raes, a Rotarian and the chair of the program. “The sad reality is that kids in our community are going hungry every day. We can never say no to these kids now that they rely on these backpacks.”

The Starfish Pack provides backpacks of food to local school-aged children and their families on the weekends. The backpacks are packed with food with support from Save-On Foods, and then delivered to local schools. The principal and teachers distribute the packs to children on Friday and the emptied bags are returned on Monday for the process to begin again.

The food provided is to supplement meals for two breakfasts, two lunches, two dinners and some snacks.

This year, Rotary Club of Penticton is happy to announce that they have increased from 45 backpacks in five schools in Penticton to 48 backpacks in six schools. The program has received praise and support from local businesses.

READ MORE: Penticton JCIs collecting donations for food bank

“Since bringing attention to this program, we have also received some amazing donations from local business owners, 100 Men Who Care, 100 Women Who Care, Cascades Casino, JCI Penticton and local individuals, which has allowed us to grow and to continue the program each September,” said Van Raes. “To sponsor one local child with one backpack of food for a year comes at a cost of $525, and so we are turning to our community and local businesses for assistance.”

This year, the Starfish Pack program is running in 19 cities around B.C. Since the program started in 2017, Starfish has been the recipient of a grant from the Community Foundation of the South Okanagan. That grant enabled Penticton to pilot the program with 11 backpacks in April 2017.

“We are extremely grateful to the community foundation and their donors for recognizing the need in our community for this program to get off the ground and offering their support yearly with grant money since its inception,” said Van Raes.

To sponsor a child’s backpack for a year or to get involved with fundraising, please contact Tracy Van Raes at Donations for individuals who require a tax receipt can also be made directly to the Starfish Program by visiting You can also like the program’s Facebook page at to stay up to date on the happenings of Starfish in our community.

To report a typo, email:


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

ECM atoms bring home the silver from Coquitlam tourney

The ECM Promotions atom team finished runners up in a minor hockey tournament in Coquitlam

WEB POLL: Would you like to see a new highway built between B.C. and Central Alberta?

Building another highway through the mountains would shave 95 km from Kamloops to Red Deer

World Cup skier and Penticton native, Brayden Kuroda, dies at 19

Kuroda, who made his World Cup debut earlier this year, passed away suddenly Monday night.

Okanagan rinks have mixed results as BC Seniors Curling finals begin

A total of 15 rinks are competing in Vernon for right to go to nationals in Manitoba

Penticton Vees to open first round of playoffs against West Kelowna

Penticton will come into the series as heavy favourites against the Warriors.

VIDEO: 7 things you need to know about the 2020 B.C. budget

Surplus of $227 million with big spending on infrastructure and capital projects

Trees Cannabis director fined $1.5M for selling marijuana

Fine follows provincial crackdown on popular dispensary

Coastal GasLink pipeline investor committed to closing deal despite protests

Developer TC Energy Corp. — formerly TransCanada Corp. — is to remain the operator of the $6.6-billion pipeline

New highway proposed between Alberta and B.C.

The route would connect Red Deer to Kamloops

What’s in a name? The story of Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie

It’s likely the iconic peak had several Indigenous peoples’ names before settlers arrived

Budget 2020: B.C. Liberals blast ‘Netflix tax,’ lack of economic plan

ICBC rates still go up, except in election year, Shirley Bond says

Maggie and Tim: A residential school survivor and her son who died on B.C. streets

Part one of a two-part series on a young man’s tragic death and his mother’s survival through hardship

Two law enforcement trucks ‘deliberately’ set on fire in northern B.C., RCMP say

Police say they have video evidence of a person in the area of the truck fires

Most Read