A signature Credit Union cause, Feed the Valley, is filling food bank shelves at a rapid rate.
The cause, along with the Full Cupboard, has surpassed the $3 million mark — a significant milestone in the fight against hunger.
Specifically in the Vernon, Lumby and Armstrong communities, Feed the Valley (the signature cause for Valley First) has donated nearly $215,000 in support of local food banks.
“This is simply an incredible achievement,” said Launi Skinner, CEO of First West Credit Union.
“To say we’re thrilled would be an understatement. It’s been so heartwarming to see how our teams, members and community partners have come together and embraced our signature cause over the years.
“To put it into perspective, $3 million is equivalent to providing nearly nine-million meals to hungry children and families throughout British Columbia — an amazing feat.
“Together, we’re making a significant impact in our communities and I’m so inspired by the compassion and generosity of everyone who have supported our community programs.”
In addition to the $3 million raised, close to 182,000 pounds of food have been collected as part of Feed the Valley and the Full Cupboard.
“Food security is a cause that’s near and dear to our hearts,” said Susan Byrom, executive director, First West Community Investment and First West Foundation.
“At its most basic, our signature cause raises much needed food, funds and awareness for our local food banks, and in doing so, we’re able to deepen our partnership with food-focused non-profit organizations.
”Today, we directly support 33 per cent of British Columbia’s food banks — 11 in each of our communities – and indirectly partner with all 100 B.C. food banks through our partnership with Food Banks BC.
“This is a huge milestone for our signature cause programs, and I’m very proud be a part of an organization that’s so committed to making a real difference and improving the lives our local citizens and communities.”
Laura Lansink, executive director of Food Banks BC, also notes the impact the Full Cupboard and Feed the Valley have had in supporting hunger initiatives and organizations throughout B.C.
“First West Credit Union and its regional divisions have been long-time and passionate supporters of our local food banks throughout the province,” Lansink said.
“It’s through partners like them that we’re able to ensure no one in our communities goes hungry. Thank you to everyone who’ve supported these programs — your generosity is inspiring.”
Launched in March 2010, Feed the Valley is a community investment program created by Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union.
The program aims to raise food, funds and awareness for food banks throughout B.C.’s Okanagan, Similkameen and Thompson regions.
After Feed the Valley gained immense traction in just three years, First West replicated the program and launched the Full Cupboard at Envision Financial in March 2013, and at Island Savings in August 2016.
Community members can support the programs by donating non-perishable food items or making cash donations at their nearest Valley First branches. All donations of more than $20 are tax deductible.