City staff support Starfish Backpack program

Six City employees gathered at the Kamloops Food Bank before work on Friday, June 8, 2018, to lend their hands to a program that helps feed local school kids in need. 

Colleen Quigley (HR Manager), Lucas Daost (HR Advisor), Mike Helfrish (Kamloops Fire Rescue), Elnaz Ansari (Traffic and Transportation Engineer), Terry Pile (Risk Manager), and Carol Allen (Accounting Clerk) stuffed 40 backpacks full of food in a matter of 45 minutes, wrapping it all up before 8:00 am. Quigley's son also joined in before heading off to school. 

"It was a rewarding experience knowing that the small effort I put into the Starfish program helps the little people in our community who are in need of the most basic needs like food," said Ansari.  

The Starfish Backpack Program is a partnership between the Food Bank, Rotary, and School District No. 73. Currently, 40 backpacks are stuffed each Friday throughout the school year, with various groups in Kamloops participating. 

"Volunteering for the Starfish Backpack program is truly an eye opening experience," said Daoust. "While preparing backpacks of food, you realize that you’re making a difference to children who, without this program, may not have access to a regular meal." 

The United Way Thompson Nicola Cariboo facilitates the groups of volunteers for each week, and when the City is called on, the City's United Way Committee puts out a call out internally for volunteers. 

The Starfish Backpack partners are hoping to increase the number of backpacks to 90 for next school year. Any staff interested in participating can contact the United Way Committee at

Two recent opportunities took place to support the United Way's Feeding the Future Campaign that raised over $50,000 combined:

2018 Jail and Bail: Mayor Kenny C and Christine "Slick Nickel" Anderson (Communications Advisor) were arrested on Friday, June 15, and successfully raise $1,000 bail! View their WANTED posters here

The Drive Thru Breakfast took place on Friday, June 15, 2018 at Cascades Casino.