PENTICTON, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - March 13, 2013) - Valley First employees, members and supporters reached deep into their pockets and pantries during 2012, helping to push Feed the Valley fundraising totals close to half a million dollars.
Over the last 12 months, $150,000 and 32,000 pounds of food were collected for Feed the Valley. As the Valley First initiative approaches its third anniversary on March 16, totals since inception in 2010 stand close to $465,000 in cash donations and more than 39,000 pounds of food donations. This sets Valley First well on the way to achieving its ambitious goal of raising $1 million by 2020.
"Over the last three years, our Feed the Valley numbers have been simply incredible," says Valley First president, Paulette Rennie. "The way our employees, members and communities have embraced this terrific hunger-fighting initiative has blown us all away. With the growing support of our regional partners, we are really helping to make a difference in our communities.
"While the results from the first three years are beyond our expectations, we realize we still have a long way to go to achieve our ultimate goal of eliminating hunger in our communities."
Feed the Valley is a community investment program created by Valley First. The program aims to raise food, funds and awareness for food banks throughout the Okanagan, Similkameen and Thompson regions.
The success of Feed the Valley has not gone unnoticed by community and food bank partners. Earlier this year, Valley First joined with Food Banks B.C. to create an online donation portal which allows people to donate directly to a number of local food banks in Valley First's service area.
"Over the last decade, food bank use in B.C. has increased significantly," says Food Banks B.C. executive director, Laura Lansink. "The work Valley First is doing through Feed the Valley is simply tremendous. By committing to and achieving such lofty goals, they are certainly making a real difference in the communities that need it most.
"As a charitable organization, it is often hard to really explain the importance of the support we get from our community partners. Valley First and Feed the Valley are truly valuable partners. I applaud and congratulate them for their outstanding efforts."
Community members can support the Feed the Valley program by donating non-perishable food items or making cash donations at their nearest Valley First branch. All donations of more than $20 are tax-deductible. Donations can be made as one-time contributions, through regular, pre-authorized payments or online through www.feedthevalley.ca or through the Food Banks B.C. online donations portal at: http://www.foodbanksbc.com/get-involved/feed-the-valley/.
Valley First is a division of First West Credit Union, B.C.'s third-largest credit union, which has 39 branches and 29 insurance offices throughout the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, Kitimat and Okanagan, Similkameen and Thompson valleys. Led by Launi Skinner, First West has approximately $6.6 billion in assets under administration, more than 169,000 members and close to 1,300 employees. For more information on Valley First, visit valleyfirst.com.
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