KURT LANGMANN PHOTO Aldergrove Rotarian Charlie Fox and Jazz Airline Captain Dan Rowbotham delivered 10 Starfish backpacks of food to North Otter Elementary principal Dianne Chretien and youth worker Ulla Thomas this past week.

‘Jazzed’ about Starfish food pack at North Otter School

A program that supplies Aldergrove students with food for the weekends has expanded

A program that supplies Aldergrove students with food for the weekends has expanded to include North Otter Elementary School.

The Starfish Backpack is a program started by Aldergrove Rotary Club a couple of years ago in order to provide basic food needs when in-school breakfast and lunch programs aren’t available, namely on the weekends. Through sponsorships and fundraising the program provides backpacks to 50 students at Aldergrove’s Shortreed, Parkside and Betty Gilbert schools.

Thanks to the sponsorship of the Jazz Pilots for Kids society, the Starfish program now provides another 10 backpacks of food for students every weekend at North Otter.

Captain Dan Rowbotham, a director of Jazz Pilots For Kids, helped deliver the backpacks last week to North Otter school staff for disbursement to students in need.

“Jazz Pilots for Kids (JPFK) has been set up by Jazz pilots to support food and breakfast programs in communities where Jazz pilots live,” said Rowbotham. “We currently are operating in Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Victoria. Expansion of our presence to more cities we serve will occur in the future.”

Rowbotham said, “Jazz Aviation LP operates throughout North America on behalf of Air Canada under its Air Canada Express brand. With more than 1,200 pilots, Jazz pilot leadership created Jazz Pilots For Kids to help develop their relationship with the communities the pilots fly in and out of, by giving something back.

“Our model has been to work with other like-minded groups, partnering to improve food and breakfast programs for kids. In Vancouver we partner with the Rotary Club to support their Starfish pack pack program in Aldergrove. In Calgary we partner with Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids (bb4CK), and in Toronto we support and work with The Children’s Breakfast Club. In Victoria (Sidney) we work with the Sidney Food Bank to support and improve the food and breakfast programs in Sidney.”

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