Aldergrove Rotarians and retired school principals George Bryce (left) and Charlie Fox (left) presented a $17,000 cheque to executive director of Langley School District foundation, Susan Cairns, at the district offices on Tuesday, June 18. (Langley School District photo)

Fewer Langley students will be hungry this summer, thanks to Rotary kindness

The Aldergrove service club goes a step further to provide for Starfish families

Tuesday, June 18 provided those at the Langley School District offices with a moment of inspiration.

Rotarians and retired Aldergrove school principals George Bryce and Charlie Fox, presented $17,000 to Susan Cairns, executive director of the Langley School District Foundation.

It was on behalf of the Aldergrove Rotary Club, which has fed young students in the community with more than 10,000 Starfish backpacks full of nourishment during a span of five years.

Except what is usually given out at the end of every school day – in a big blue backpack – will now be distributed each week of summer – in the form of grocery gift cards.

Families of 64 Starfish students from Shortreed Elementary, Parkside Centennial Elementary, North Otter Elementary, and Betty Gilbert Middle School will receive $50 in Save-On Foods, Superstore, or Otter Co-op gift cards per week.

“I felt that we had to continue the relationship with the foundation into the summer,” Fox said to the Aldergrove Star.

“It’s because many family members still aren’t back to work.”

RELATED: Aldergrove Rotarians have found a way to feed Starfish students at home

Before the pandemic, Starfish students and families from four local schools were assessed as in greatest need for easy-to-cook meals to take home on weekends – when school breakfast clubs are halted.

Now, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the school district foundation has gotten creative by expanding its Food For Thought initiative to address the growing needs of Langley students and families – a majority of whom are finishing up the school year at home.

Back in April, the Aldergrove Rotary Club donated $8,000 to help cover some of the foundation’s cost for gift cards for Starfish students and their families.

Its partnership with the Aldergrove Rotary Club has allowed both groups to continue helping students and families.

“We let the school do all the distributing,” said Fox, who organizes annual fundraisers – including an Aldergrove Pasta Night – to cover the program costs.

Starfish Backpack Program was implemented by the Rotarians in 2015, to address hunger in local classrooms.

READ MORE: Many Langley students could go hungry without school food programs during COVID-19 pandemic

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