Making a difference...once child at a time

Parable of the Starfish

On the morning after a violent storm, the residents of a seaside village awoke to find their beach covered with hundreds of dying starfish which had washed ashore. As the community gathered at the end of the beach, they spoke in hushed tones about the great sadness of the disaster. Suddenly, a young girl ran towards the beach and began to pick the starfish one at a time, then throwing them back into the water.

A village elder walked towards the young girl and kindly said, “Child, there are hundreds of starfish on this beach and this must be happening on other beaches up and down the coast. You must understand that you alone can’t possibly make a difference.”

The little girl looked up at the old man, smiled and bent down to pick another starfish. As she threw it back into the sea, she replied, “I made a huge difference to that one!”

– Author Unknown


What are Starfish Packs and why do they exist?

The Starfish Pack Program started as a pilot project with 6 backpacks as a response to an Abbotsford teacher’s cry for help. She was feeding many of her Kindergarten students who were coming to school on Monday hungry. The hunger was affecting their moods and their ability to focus in class. This was not just an Abbotsford problem.
Many students across the province rely on school breakfast and lunch programs to fill their tummy’s on school days. When it comes to the weekend, they don’t have the food they need. Starfish Pack was designed to help change that. Starfish provides backpacks with 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, 2 dinners, and snacks to hungry students each weekend of the school year.
Teachers have reported improvements in children’s reading skills, math skills, ability to focus and to do partner work. Starfish has now expanded to over 20 cities and is helping make sure children across BC don’t have to worry about weekend hunger.
Several Rotary clubs are partners in programs across the province so word quickly reached us. Timing is everything and our local School District had recently assumed operational responsibility for the School Lunches Program; not wanting to risk negatively impacting their work, we held off on our version of the Starfish Pack Program until the beginning of 2021.

Quesnel's program

In partnership with Riverview Elementary School, our program is coordinated by Quesnel Tillicum Society (QTS) with Rotary support. QTS selects a weekly menu, purchases the necessary ingredients (Save On Foods is another wonderful partner), and loads up the backpacks which are distributed to students to bring home on Fridays; the backpacks are then returned the following Monday. 
Currently, we are at 10 backpacks per week but we will go as far as the sustainable funding will allow. If you or your business would like to be a donor or even an outright sponsor, Quesnel Tillicum Society is a CRA-registered charity (Registration no.: 119107795 RR 0001) meaning donations are eligible for a tax receipt.

Sponsorship details

Please contact Tony Goulet,  Executive Director   Email:   Tel: 250-992-8347


To donate:

Online (credit card, debit card, PayPal): click here        NB: please input “Backpack Program” in the message box

Click on image to enlarge

Cash or cheque payable to "Quesnel Tillicum Society": 319 North Fraser Drive, Quesnel, BC  V2J 1Y9



Please contact Tony Goulet,  Executive Director   Email:   Tel: 250-992-8347