Starfish and Nourish Cowichan Feeding Hungry Children

Rotary Clubs across British Columbia have partnered with their local school districts to make sure no child goes hungry.

Read more about how our local clubs are making a difference, in the Cowichan Valley Citizen newspaper article written by Sarah Simpson from Nov. 24th, 2017

The Nourish Cowichan Society is a charity organization whose aim is to feed school breakfasts (and other various snacks) to Cowichan’s hungry children. Co-founded by Dina Holbrook, Anita Carroll and Fatima Da Silva when they became aware of the sheer number of students who were going to school hungry, it took just weeks to get the organization off the ground. Now an established charitable society with a board of directors, the program is flourishing. Earlier this year they teamed up with Starfish Cowichan Valley, a volunteer non-profit group made up of members of the Duncan, Duncan Daybreak, Chemainus and South Cowichan Rotary groups along with school district officials and other supporters.

The Starfish Pack Backpack Program was created about six years ago after teachers in Abbotsford were heartbroken to learn many of their students got to school on Monday reporting they’d not eaten over the weekend. The Starfish Pack was born to send those children home with food for the weekend. Programs have since popped up all around the province, including in Cowichan.

“School District 79 initially gave us a number of 180 students that were potential candidates for the program but we’ve found out since then, we’ve increased the number twice already,” said Starfish Cowichan’s Derek Hardacker. “We’re pretty sure that 180 number isn’t anywhere near where it actually is.”

Now feeding children on weekdays and on weekends, they’re such valuable resources in the community.

Did You Know?

Nourish Cowichan provides a breakfast program during the week, and Starfish Cowichan sends food packs home on weekends.
"We are currently providing packs to one school, weekly we are bringing 50 packs. We started last year in April, provided packs for April May and June 35 a week, this year the school asked for 40, we started in October and just at the beginning of March they asked for an increase to 50." - Rotary Club of Duncan's Corrine Thompson (for more info you can reach her at 250-709-1903)

Nourish Cowichan and the Cowichan Valley Starfish Pack Program intend on increasing their presence throughout the Cowichan Valley School District in the new school year, and look forward to continued community support!

$525 provides a child with food on weekends during the school year!
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