by Ronda Payne/Special to the Langley Advance
Food banks around the province have already begun to shift into high gear to ensure those who need help have it in time for the holidays.
The Full Cupboard program, the signature fundraising effort of Envision Financial (a division of First West Credit Union), has also shifted into a more intense pace along with program partners at the Langley Advance.
The Full Cupboard program launched in 2013 with a 10-year goal of raising $1 million and collecting 100,000 pounds of food, explained Susan Byrom, senior manager community investment with First West.
As of September, the organization was on pace to exceed those goals.
“We have raised now $545,515 and collected 69,879 pounds of food,” she said.
The monetary donations are important because, as Byrom explained, each dollar donated equates to three meals.
“[For each] donated $30, one individual in our community would receive three meals a day for a month,” she said. “This year we’re looking at encouraging… a monetary donation to the Full Cupboard – which then gets donated to our local food banks.”
Donating is easy.
Envision branches in Langley – including the head office – have Christmas trees up, complete with some special decorations.
“All of our teams are putting up a holiday tree, decorated with some Full Cupboard holiday tags,” noted Byrom. “Take off a tag, make a monetary donation or food donation… and take that tag home and put it on your tree.”
Byrom said the program is the ideal way to donate in someone’s name or to honour a loved one.
Monetary and food donations are also being accepted at the Langley Advance office, and all donations stay in the community to support local people through the Langley Sources Food Bank.
At the Willoughby branch, not long after the Full Cupboard tree was set up, Envision employee Jan McIlvaney had a member ask about donating to the cause.
McIlvaney was explaining that the donation stays within the community, when an interesting thing happened.
“He got a bit emotional and in a soft voice told me that in his younger days, he had an occasion to use the food bank,” McIlvaney recounted. “Our cause was also a cause near to his heart.”
The program runs until Saturday, Dec. 9, and Byrom said it’s important to get donations in soon so the food bank has time to make purchases and sort food items in time for the holiday season.
“We want to make sure we can get the funds in the hands of the food bank before the holiday season,” Byrom added.
“We know that there’s a need the full year and that’s why the Full Cupboard program is so important to our food banks… but it’s so important at this time of year that every dollar we can raise goes straight to the food bank before holiday time.”
For those looking for a way to give back as the holiday season approaches, consider the Full Cupboard program which supports local food banks around the province.
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