LANGLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - May 14, 2014) - As B.C. food banks struggle to meet increased demands on their resources, First West Credit Union extended a helping hand last week by raising nearly $12,000 and more than 2,000 pounds of food in support of local food banks during Hunger Awareness Week.

In support of Hunger Awareness Week, First West employees and eight community partners organized a total of 58 fundraising events at locations across the credit union, including First West's Annual General Meeting. Employees and members alike were encouraged to make monetary or non-perishable food item donations to benefit local B.C. food banks. The credit union also took to social media, pledging to donate $2 (up to a total of $2000) for every like, share or retweet of its Hunger Awareness Week posts and tweets.

"For a community-centred organization like First West, the problem of hunger really hits home, especially when we consider that 29 per cent of food bank clients are children," says Susan Byrom, manager of community investment at First West Credit Union. "Through our signature causes, The Full Cupboard and Feed the Valley, we're able make a real difference in the fight against hunger in our communities."

Marking its first anniversary in March, The Full Cupboard program has raised more than $95,000 and collected more than 11,600 pounds of food supporting 11 food banks that operate in the Fraser Valley, the Lower Mainland and Kitimat, B.C. Since its March 2010 launch, Feed the Valley has provided food banks across B.C's Southern Interior more than $615,000 and in excess of 56,000 pounds of food thanks to the efforts of Valley First employees, members and community partners.

"Feed the Valley has done tremendously well in just four years, surpassing the halfway mark of its $1 million-in-10-years goal," says Byrom. "The Full Cupboard is off to a great start, too. The success of these programs proves that we're helping people become more aware of this basic need in our communities."

Members of the local community can support Feed the Valley or The Full Cupboard programs by donating non-perishable food items or making cash donations at their nearest Valley First, Enderby & District Financial or Envision Financial branch. Cash donations of $20 or more are tax-deductible and can be made as one-time contributions, regular, pre-authorized payments, or online at: or

About First West Credit Union

First West Credit Union offers members the financial strength, comprehensive product selection and extended branch network of a large financial institution while maintaining local brand identities and a unique grassroots approach to service. Led by Launi Skinner, First West is British Columbia's third-largest credit union with $7.7 billion in assets under administration, more than 177,000 members and close to 1,300 employees. It operates 39 branches throughout the province under the Envision Financial, Valley First and Enderby & District Financial brands. For more information on First West Credit Union, visit

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Contact Information:

First West Credit Union
Jason Brown
Media Contact