As community food banks across B.C. are ramping up their operations to accommodate the busy holiday season, Valley First is stepping up its support.
Until Dec. 9, community members can help neighbours in need through Valley First’s annual holiday program. Visit any branch, make a monetary or non-perishable food item donation and take a holiday tree tag to display in your home.
“It’s a sad reality that food bank use in B.C. has increased by more than 32 per cent since 2008,” said Susan Byrom, senior manager of community investment with Valley First.
“But even more heartbreaking is that one-third of those who access food banks are children. The holidays are undoubtedly a challenging time for vulnerable members of our communities, which is why we double our efforts at this time of year. But we must remember that there’s a year-round need.”
In addition to supporting food banks, for the first time Valley First employees have come together to raise socks for local emergency shelters, an in-demand item that all-too-often runs in short supply.
An initiative from the First West Foundation, the credit union’s charitable arm, more than 4,100 pairs of socks were raised by First West employees in just 10 days. These donations are being distributed throughout communities in which First West operates.