PENTICTION, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - March 17, 2014) -

Editors Note: There is a photo associated with this Press Release

Food banks across the Southern Interior have received more than $615,000 and in excess of 25 tons of food thanks to the efforts of Valley First employees, members and community partners.

Through Valley First's Feed the Valley program, which marked its fourth anniversary on March 16, local food banks have received a much needed boost as demand for their services continue to increase.

"When I look at our Feed the Valley fundraising numbers, all I can say is 'wow'," says Valley First President Paulette Rennie. "It's incredible the difference our Feed the Valley program is making. For the last four years we've seen it go from strength to strength. I'm so proud of how Feed the Valley is truly helping to make a difference in our communities."

Last year, more than $100,000 was added to the Feed the Valley coffers, donations which were then passed on directly to 11 food banks across the Okanagan, Similkameen and Thompson valleys. During 2013, fundraising totals also passed $500,000, well earlier than anticipated.

"The way our employees, members and communities have embraced this terrific hunger-fighting initiative has blown us all away," says Rennie. "While the results from the first four years are beyond our expectations, we realize we still have a long way to go to achieve our ultimate goal."

The impact of Valley First's Feed the Valley program has not gone unnoticed outside B.C.'s Southern Interior. The program has been recognized by the credit union system and financial partners as a leading community investment program. Valley First's community leadership and the success of Feed the Valley have also been recognized by B.C. Premier Christy Clark.

As Feed the Valley donations passed $500,000 in 2013, in a congratulatory note to Valley First Clark commented: "I know how hard so many people have worked since Valley First launched this unique hunger fighting initiative across the Okanagan, Similkameen and Thompson valleys. You set a goal. You continue to be focused on that goal…This is fabulous and it speaks to the level of commitment and dedication of so many volunteers, as well as the residents, community partners and businesses of the communities you serve."

Feed the Valley is a community investment program created by Valley First. The program aims to raise food, funds and awareness for food banks throughout the Okanagan, Similkameen and Thompson regions.

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. All donations of more than $20 are tax-deductible. Donations can be made as one-time contributions, through regular, pre-authorized payments or online through or through the Food Banks B.C. online donations portal at:

Valley First is a division of First West Credit Union, B.C.'s third-largest credit union, which has 39 branches and 28 insurance offices throughout the Lower Mainland, Fraser Valley, Kitimat and Okanagan, Similkameen and Thompson valleys. Led by Launi Skinner, First West has $7.1 billion in assets under administration, more than 171,000 members and close to 1,300 employees. For more information on Valley First, visit

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Contact Information:

Valley First
David Kropp
Communications Manager