Valley First nets recognition for Feed the Valley

Campaign has generated more than $225,000 and 7,500 kilograms of food for local food banks

Valley First received a Central 1 InNOVAtion Award for its Feed the Valley program — a unique community partnership that tackles hunger in the Okanagan, Similkameen and Thompson valleys.

Central 1’s annual inNOVAtion Awards foster the spirit of ingenuity that exists within the credit union system by recognizing projects that have helped improve operations by member credit unions in B.C. and Ontario. The award was presented at the 2011 Central 1 Fall Conference in Toronto.

“Valley First has a long-standing tradition of supporting the communities it serves,” said Angela Brown, Valley First’s assistant vice-president of marketing.

“In addition to our regular corporate giving, we recognized a significant need to tackle hunger in our region. Through our partnership with local food banks and with the support from the Valley First team, Feed the Valley has taken off in a way we could have never imagined.”

Launched to coincide with hunger awareness month in March 2010, Valley First set an ambitious goal of raising $100,000 a year for the next 10 years; a total of $1 million over the next decade. In less than two years, Feed the Valley has already generated more than $225,000 and 7,500 kilograms of food for local food banks.

According to Hunger Count, a 2011 report by Food Banks Canada, food banks will assist more than 90,000 individuals in B.C. in 2011, with children under the age of 18 representing 31.8 per cent of food bank clients.

“Feed the Valley is an outstanding example of an innovative community giving initiative that is addressing a significant need in the communities that Valley First serves,” said Linda Archer, Central 1’s senior vice-president of marketing and human resources.

“The InNOVAtion Awards judges were impressed by the clearly defined goal, the dedication of the Valley First team to making Feed the Valley a success and the measurable results achieved in such a short timeframe. Feed the Valley sets the standard for innovative community giving initiatives across Canada.”