Rotary of Parksville AM president Bashir El-Khalafawi presents a $6,900 cheque donation to the founder of the District 69 Backpack Program, Virginia Worcester. Also in the photo is Rotary members Matt Breedlove, John O’Brien and Brooke Chase, Virginia’s daughter and creator of the Backpack program website. (Michael Briones photo)
Rotary of Parksville AM president Bashir El-Khalafawi presents a $6,900 cheque donation to the founder of the District 69 backpack program, Virginia Worcester. Also in the photo are Rotary members Matt Breedlove, John O’Brien and Brooke Chase, Virginia’s daughter and creator of the backpack program website. (Michael Briones photo)

Rotary of Parksville AM president Bashir El-Khalafawi presents a $6,900 cheque donation to the founder of the District 69 Backpack Program, Virginia Worcester. Also in the photo is Rotary members Matt Breedlove, John O’Brien and Brooke Chase, Virginia’s daughter and creator of the Backpack program website. (Michael Briones photo) Rotary of Parksville AM president Bashir El-Khalafawi presents a $6,900 cheque donation to the founder of the District 69 backpack program, Virginia Worcester. Also in the photo are Rotary members Matt Breedlove, John O’Brien and Brooke Chase, Virginia’s daughter and creator of the backpack program website. (Michael Briones photo)

Parksville Rotary AM donates $6.9K to District 69 backpack program

Bottle drive funds to be donated quarterly

The Rotary Club of Parksville AM has committed to help the ‘Weekends Without Hunger’ District 69 backpack program by donating proceeds from its bottle drive, held at Speedy Glass in Parksville every Saturday (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.).

On March 27, the Rotary presented the founder of the program, Virginia Worcester, a cheque worth $6,900.

President Bashir El-Khalafawi indicated the Rotary plans to donate the same amount to the program every four months.

“Every Saturday, all the proceeds from the returnables, we will accumulate them until we have a sufficient amount for her to purchase the supplies she needs,” said El-Khalafawi.

The District 69 backpack program’s objective is to create weekends that are worry-free for the children in the community by providing easy-to-prepare food in periods when other resources are not available. Children at risk of weekend hunger are given a bag of food that is child-friendly, nutritious, non-perishable and easy to eat.

RELATED: New backpack program starts up to help feed families in District 69

Worcester welcomed the Rotary’s commitment to provide funds.

“These donations are helpful because that’s how we are able to buy the foods for the families,” said Worcester. “The whole program is ran on donations only. And every penny goes towards buying food for families.”

Currently the program assists 55 families every week. Worcester said it involves every school in District 69.

“We’re not just feeding families in Qualicum, or just families in Parksville. It’s all the way from Bowser to Nanoose,” said Worcester.

Backpacks are distributed every Thursday and each backpack provides enough food that the children and family can easily assemble into six healthy meals. This helps ensure that children will have food over the weekend and return to school on Monday ready to learn.

Worcester appreciates the contribution of the community

“I am so proud of this community I live in,” said Worcester. “We’ve had such tremendous support this year from the community and everybody has gotten behind feeding local families. I think people understand the importance of children having food.”

To learn more about the program and how you can help, visit www.district69backpackprogram.com

Michael.Briones@pqbnews.com

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