Gagan Gill

Credit union ready to fill food bank

The Island Savings division of First West Credit Union is set to provide ‘the equivalent of’ 650,000 meals

The Island Savings division of First West Credit Union is set to provide ‘the equivalent of’ 650,000 meals to children and families over the next three years.

An Aug. 17 media release noted that back-to-school expenses are on the horizon and food bank shelves are depleted in many Island communities at this time of year, and that their Full Cupboard program is intended address the need.

“Through a combination of food, funds and awareness-raising activities, The Full Cupboard is a new community investment program from Island Savings that aims to reduce hunger across the Islands,” says the press release.

“At this time of year thousands of Island parents are stretched to buy new clothing and school supplies while still managing to put food on the table,” says Randy Bertsch, president of Island Savings.

“Thanks to the buying power of food banks, one dollar a day can feed a child in BC – and so raising funds with our members and employees through The Full Cupboard will relieve some of this immediate need for food while we develop capacity-building programs to reduce food bank dependence in the long term.”

An initial $8,800 has been raised though employee and member donations over the summer. The money will go directly to 11 food banks located in neighbourhoods served by Island Savings.

Donors can also choose to support the “greatest need”, whereby donations are funneled by Food Banks BC to any Island-based food bank with urgent needs.

“We’re incredibly excited to be a recipient of donations from The Full Cupboard,” says Colleen Fuller, manager of the Cowichan Valley Basket Society. “We fill more than 450 baskets a month with a week’s worth of groceries to help individuals and families on a limited income stretch their food budget a bit further.”

“Cash donations help us buy the core components of these hampers.”

The Full Cupboard is an expansion of the Growing Island Families Together (GIFT) program that Island Savings has been building for the past six years, the release says.

GIFT helps at-risk Island children build self-confidence, resilience and engagement with their communities.

Financial donations to The Full Cupboard can be made in any Island Savings branch or online at


Just Posted

Tribal Journeys welcomed by Stz’uminus at Shell Beach

Paddlers came from various nations, including the Heiltsuk, Namgis, Hesquiaht, and Alberta Cree

Brits on the Beach raises $2,251 for LRCA food bank

Brits on the Beach also brought in 75 pounds of non-perishable food items

Town adds public access lifering to improve water safety at Transfer Beach

The lifering is easy to use and includes instructions on the protective housing case for emergencies

Chemainus Harvest House still demands attention in summer

Food bank supplies dwindle with diminished donations

No shortage of water supply in Ladysmith despite stage three water restrictions

Water restrictions remain in place to service community in case of an emergency

Rich the Vegan scoots across Canada for the animals

Rich Adams is riding his push scooter across Canada to bring awareness to the dog meat trade in Asia

A year later, ceremony commemorates victims of the Danforth shooting

It’s the one-year anniversary of when a man opened fire along the bustling street before shooting and killing himself

Japanese Canadians call on B.C. to go beyond mere apology for historic racism

The federal government apologized in 1988 for its racism against ‘enemy aliens’

B.C. VIEWS: NDP pushes ahead with Crown forest redistribution

This isn’t the time for a radical Indigenous rights agenda

Two dead in two-vehicle crash between Revelstoke and Golden

RCMP are investigating the cause of the crash

Ottawa fights planned class action against RCMP for bullying, intimidation

The current case is more general, applying to employees, including men, who worked for the RCMP

Alberta judge denies B.C.’s bid to block ‘Turn Off the Taps’ bill

He said the proper venue for the disagreement is Federal Court

Canadian high school science courses behind on climate change, says UBC study

Researchers found performance on key areas varies by province and territory

Most Read