A new partnership with Envision Financial will help keep the Friends In Need Food Bank forefront in the community.
That cannot be anything but good news for those who are struggling to get by in the community, said Mary Robson, the food bank’s acting executive director.
“We can look down the road and know we’re not going to get the contributions we get at Christmas time the rest of the year, and that could be a problem,” she told The TIMES.
But late last week, the credit union launched a program called The Full Cupboard, designed to raise food, funds, and awareness for food banks throughout the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, and Kitimat, including the Friends in Need Food Bank Society in Maple Ridge.
Through this program, Envision has committed to raising at least $1 million for those food banks during the next 10 years.
And to kick off the program, Envision made a $5,000 donation to Food Banks BC, as well as a $1,000 donations to each of the 11 food banks in the 10 communities where the local financial institution operates.
“The statistics speak to the staggering need for an increased focus on supporting our local food banks,” said Envision Financial president Shelley Besse.
“In the past five years, there has been a 23-per-cent increase in the number of people using food banks in B.C. That’s why we’re so proud to be announcing The Full Cupboard today and making it our signature cause to help drive awareness and raise funds for these important community organizations.
“Envision Financial has a long history of supporting food banks with our funds, as well as through our annual employee volunteer service week. The Full Cupboard deepens our commitment to our community food banks and reiterates our desire to give back in a substantial way in the fight against hunger,” Besse concluded.
Following the success of Feed the Valley, the signature cause of Valley First, Envision Financial’s regional partner in the Okanagan, Similkameen and Thompson valleys, The Full Cupboard was developed as a long-term community investment program at Envision and will run in conjunction with the organization’s already well-established community support initiatives.
Details about The Full Cupboard have spread quickly and other partners committed to reducing hunger in the region are also getting on board.
“The Friends in Need Food Bank has been serving the residents of Maple Ridge and Pitt Meadows since 1989,” Robson said.
“One third of our clients are families with young children and many are seniors. Our organization exists because of the 70 plus volunteers and we would not be able to assist those in need without the continued support of organizations such as Envision Financial.
She added: “The Full Cupboard program will not only raise food and funds, but it will also raise awareness that people are in need all year round. The Friends in Need Food Bank is proud to be included in this wonderful, community minded campaign.”
People can support The Full Cupboard program by donating non-perishable food items or making cash donations at the nearest Envision branch.
Cash donations of $20 or more are tax-deductible and can be made as one-time contributions, through regular, pre-authorized payments, or online at http://www.foodbanksbc.com/get-involved/thefullcupboard.
To support the launch of The Full Cupboard, each Envision Financial branch will be holding a fundraising initiative in the next month, including a barbecue at the Maple Ridge branch at 20133 Lougheed Hwy. on Friday, April 5, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.