Valley First

Bringing mobile giving to the fight against hunger

Valley First helps bring text-to-donate capability to the fight against hunger in B.C.
October 1, 2014

Penticton, B.C.—Close to 100,000 British Columbians access food banks every month, including more than 30,000 children. In the face of this unceasing demand Valley First, through its Feed the Valley program, is ramping up its efforts to fight hunger.

Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union, has partnered with Global BC, Shaw Media and Food Banks BC for the second annual Global BC Thanks For Giving Food Drive on October 8.

This year’s food drive marks the launch of mobile giving, made possible by support from Valley First’s parent company, First West Credit Union, and its divisions. Donors can text ‘ FOOD ‘ to 41010 to donate $5, $10, $20 or $25 to Food Banks BC. The text-to-donate capability will become a regular donation channel for Food Banks BC and all proceeds will be used for their operations that support the 94 food banks throughout the province.

“We’ve wanted to do this for a long time, but cost has been prohibitive,” says Laura Lansink executive director of Food Banks BC. “We wouldn’t have this important giving channel without the support of First West and its regional brands.”

Text-to-donate options have been growing in popularity over the past few years. The Red Cross generated $21 million texted donations supporting relief efforts for the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

“Text-to-donate programs are an emerging fundraising platform for non-profit organizations,” says Susan Byrom, Valley First’s manager of community investment. “As a local credit union, we pride ourselves on helping our non-profit partners make an even larger impact in their local communities. That’s why we’re honoured to partner with Food Banks BC to help bring this capability to the critical work they’re doing for B.C.’s food banks.”

As part of the Thanks for Giving Food Drive, Valley First’s Feed the Valley volunteers will be helping man the donation drive-thru at Global BC’s Kelowna studio from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Portable debit devices will also be on hand for those wishing to make monetary donations. All Valley First branch and insurance locations will also be accepting non-perishable food items and cash donations. All proceeds of the food drive go directly to local community food banks.

Donations can also be made online through the Food Banks BC website.

About Valley First

Valley First is a division of First West Credit Union, B.C.'s third-largest credit union, which has 38 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 $7.7 billion in assets under administration, more than 177,000 members and close to 1,300 employees.

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