Penticton food banks have seen a higher demand than ever amid COVID-19. (Contributed)

Penticton food banks have seen a higher demand than ever amid COVID-19. (Contributed)

Get a Meal, Give a Meal program raises funds for Penticton Food Bank

Valley First’s new program raises funds for the food bank by supporting local restaurants

Valley First Credit Union has donated $465 to the Penticton Food Bank following a two-month pilot of their Get a Meal Give a Meal program.

Through the program, each order of $50 or more at participating restaurants received a $25 discount and provided a $5 donation to a local food bank.

Valley First describes the initiative as a socio-economic initiative focused on supporting local businesses and providing financial aid to food banks amidst challenging times.

The program was initially designed as a way for members of the credit union to provide financial support to organizations feeling the effects of COVID-19.

READ MORE: Penticton’s Salvation Army Food Bank in greater need than ever

“The Get a Meal Give a Meal program was designed with our members in mind,” said executive director of the First West Foundation Susan Byrom. “Staying local and purchasing a meal provided an economic lift for our participating members. We don’t know what our future holds, but we do know we need to work together, and investing in our community is one of the very first places to start.”

When the program concluded $2,810 had been donated to food banks throughout the Okanagan, including $465 in Penticton alone.

The program also generated over $4,600 in revenue for Penticton restaurant participants, a portion of the more than $28,000 invested in small businesses throughout Valley First’s trade areas.

“I think Valley First really took the initiative in being that pillar of the community to support the food bank, the community, the individuals that need it most,” said participant and Villa Rosa Ristorante owner Tyler Gable. “I’ve seen a huge response from the community banding together through programs like Get a Meal, Give a Meal.”

While the program’s approach was new this year, Get a Meal Give a Meal supported Valley First’s signature cause — Feed the Valley.

Aimed at raising food, funds and awareness around the critical issue of hunger in our communities, Feed the Valley has raised over $108,000 for food banks in 2020, with more than $2.3 million donated in the program’s ten-year history.

“It’s in times like these where we really need to band together as a community,” said Valley First president Paulo Araujo. “Our values as a cooperative financial institution are built on collaboration, and this program was no different; the success of the program was contingent on everyone working together and we couldn’t be more proud of the support we saw for our local businesses and food banks.”

For more information on the Get a Meal, Give a Meal program, visit valleyfirst.com/giveameal.

To make a donation to the Penticton Food Bank, click here.

READ MORE: Valley First grants $112,400 to Okanagan charities, adding to record year



jesse.day@pentictonwesternnews.com

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