Valley First

Valley First increases support for local food banks at a time when need is greatest

Valley First increases support for local food banks at a time when need is greatest

November 29, 2017

Penticton, B.C.—As community food banks across B.C. are ramping up their operations to accommodate the busy holiday season, Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union, is stepping up its support for Feed the Valley, the credit union’s signature cause to raise food, funds and awareness for hunger-related issues.

Until Dec. 9, community members can help neighbours in need through Valley First’s annual holiday program; visit any branch or administrative office, 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 British Columbia has increased by more than 32 per cent since 2008,” says 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.

About Feed the Valley
First launched in 2010, Feed the Valley is an innovative community partnership aimed at raising food, funds and awareness for food banks local to the Okanagan, Similkameen and Thompson valleys. In 2016 Feed the Valley donations surpassed the $1 million mark—a milestone Valley First didn’t expect to reach until 2020. Since that time, this important initiative has raised $1.5 million and more than 74,000 pounds of food. 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, through or through the Food Banks B.C. online food portal:

About Valley First

Valley First is a premier provider of banking, investment and insurance services for residents and businesses in the Okanagan, Similkameen and Thompson valleys. As a division of First West Credit Union, B.C.'s third-largest credit union with 54 branches and 38 insurance offices throughout the province, Valley First brings innovative products, an extensive branch network and local decision making to the banking experience. For more information on Valley First, visit

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