The board and the recipients of an awards stand in front of Abbotsford SD logo holding awards Community Matters Award 2024

Abbotsford School District Announces Starfish Packs as Recipient of 2024 Community Matters Award

June 25, 2024

The Abbotsford School District is proud to announce Starfish Packs as the 2024 Community Matters Award recipient, presented at the June 18th Public Board Meeting. This award recognizes Starfish Packs for their exceptional contributions to our community and students.

The Starfish Pack program supports 741 students across 42 schools in Abbotsford. Each week, over 100 volunteers and one staff member work tirelessly to purchase, sort, and deliver food packs containing two breakfasts, two lunches, two dinners, and snacks. The packs, featuring child-friendly, easy-to-prepare menus, cost approximately $650-700 per student annually.

“The impact of Starfish Packs on our students and their families is truly profound,” said Shirley Wilson, Chair of the Abbotsford Board of Education. “This program addresses food as a basic need and enhances students’ ability to learn and thrive in school. The extension of the Starfish Packs into the family home is a positive consequence of the program. We are honoured to recognize Starfish Packs with the 2024 Community Matters Award and are deeply grateful for their unwavering commitment to our community.”

Dan Veeneman submitted the nomination for Starfish Packs, highlighting the program’s profound impact on the community. He emphasized how the initiative has consistently met students' physical needs while also improving their academic performance. Veeneman noted the program’s impressive growth from its beginnings in Abbotsford to its expansion across multiple cities, now supporting thousands of children and their families.

Archway Community Services representatives Meghan Kellington, Starfish Pack Coordinator; Rod Santiago, Central Executive Officer; Neil Stark, Director of Advocacy & Social Equity; and Rebecca Thuro, Manager of Food Security, accepted the award.

The Abbotsford School District extends its heartfelt gratitude to Starfish Packs for their unwavering commitment to our students and community.

Community Matters Award

The Abbotsford School District has a longstanding tradition of community involvement, with numerous individuals and organizations dedicating countless hours to support student success. To formally acknowledge these contributions, the Board established the Community Matters Award, presented annually to those who have significantly exceeded their community service mandate and positively impacted Abbotsford School District students.