How The Starfish Backpack Program Works
Participating schools identify the students who would benefit from a Starfish backpack, meet with their families and arrange for appropriate permission slips and other requirements needed to include each student. Privacy is a paramount requirement for the Starfish Program. None of the volunteers supporting the Program know which students are being helped.
Every Friday after school, students who are part of the Program pick up a backpack at their school and take it home. We understand that there is enough food to provide nourishment for other members of the family as well. Monday morning the students return empty backpacks for refilling for the following Friday.
Every week, a nutritionist from Encompass Support Service Society, (formerly Aldergrove Neighbourhood Services,) shops for the food at one of the three supporting Aldergrove grocery stores (Save-On Foods, Otter Co-op and Canada Safeway) which are providing exceptional deals for this program. The food selected is easy to prepare, nutritious, and for the most part non-perishable, although there is usually some fresh produce included.
The food is delivered to the Aldergrove Community Secondary School (ACSS) for packing.
ACSS students who are part of the school’s leadership program fill the backpacks with that week’s food. Volunteers then take the full backpacks to the elementary schools which distribute them to the selected students.