When children and youth in low income families have sufficient food to eat at home, they can focus better on their learning and social skills. That benefits not only them and their families, it benefits their teachers and their schools.
 
South Delta Baptist Church, in Tsawwassen, runs a Starfish Pack Program for that purpose. Delta Foundation has granted $17,000 in emergency funding to the Church so it can continue with this project to make sure that kids are fed over the weekend so that they come to school on Mondays ready to learn. The mission of Starfish Pack is to love kids by providing them with nourishment.
 
The funding for the grant comes from the Emergency Community Support Fund (ECSF), to support charities for vulnerable populations, hit hard during the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn. The emergency community funding is administered across the country by Community Foundations of Canada on behalf of the Government of Canada, along with two other networks, United Way and Red Cross. This Round 2 of funding follows Round 1 of the ECSF campaign completed in July.
 

 
With COVID-19 many people lost their jobs. There have been even more families struggling to make ends meet and provide healthy food for their families and their kids. Starfish Pack is a program that is 100% free of charge for the families involved. It meets tangible needs that COVID-19 has brought out.
 
The Starfish Pack program helps students who come to school hungry on Mondays because they were not able to acquire the food they needed over the weekend. Through Starfish Pack, kids from families in need go home on Fridays with a backpack full of food, including breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks. This program benefits not only the students, but the families because it helps take a little bit of the pressure off during the weekend.
 
Starfish Pack South Delta serves students at seven public elementary schools in South Delta and aims to serve all 10 schools soon. As schools and students join the program, costs increase, which is why the program leaders are grateful to all the community partners, including the Delta Foundation, which provided
a grant from the Emergency Community Support Fund from the Government of Canada, as well as the participating schools, grocery stores, and many volunteers making this program such a success.
 
Save On Foods provides groceries for the Starfish Pack project at "food bank" prices. The Rotary Club of Tsawwassen helps us financially and with volunteer hours for packing the bags.