Dave Lanphear, (left) Envision Financial president; Dan Huang-Taylor, executive director of Food Banks BC; Launi Skinner, CEO of First West Credit Union; and Susan Byrom, executive director of the First West Foundation share news of the Full Cupboard milestone. (Special to Black Press Media)

Dave Lanphear, (left) Envision Financial president; Dan Huang-Taylor, executive director of Food Banks BC; Launi Skinner, CEO of First West Credit Union; and Susan Byrom, executive director of the First West Foundation share news of the Full Cupboard milestone. (Special to Black Press Media)

Envision Financial surpasses $1 million raised for local food banks

Credit union has kept thousands from going hungry in the past eight years

It’s being described as an important milestone, not only for staff and members of Envision Financial, but for thousands upon thousands facing hunger without the aid of local food banks.

The credit union, with a branch on the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows border, has surpassed the $1 million mark in fundraising through its Full Cupboard program.

That, says executive director Susan Byrom, translates to more than three million meals given out through local food banks to help people of all ages living with food insecurities.

Eight years ago, Envision Financial – a division of First West Credit Union – set out to fight hunger throughout the Fraser Valley, Lower Mainland, and Kitimat regions it serves.

RELATED: Envision Financial grants $420,486 to 33 Lower Mainland charities, nine of which are based in Langley

Through the formation of its signature cause, The Full Cupboard, they started to raise food, funds, and awareness for local food banks.

When The Full Cupboard launched in 2013, the goal was to raise $100,000 a year through the next 10 years. And Envision Financial is proud to announce the passing of that goal– two years earlier than expected, said Envision president Dave Lanphear.

“As a member-owned financial cooperative, it’s important to acknowledge the huge role our members have played in supporting local food banks and helping us achieve this milestone,” he said.

“By choosing us as their financial partner, they are having a direct impact in supporting food security… Since The Full Cupboard’s inception, our organization has experienced healthy, sustainable growth which has aided our fight against hunger even further— we believe as we continue to evolve it means even greater things for our communities and local food banks,” Lanphear explained.

This initiative was originally the brainchild of First West Credit Union’s Valley First division, which created the Feed the Valley initiative to raise food, funds, and awareness for food banks throughout B.C.’s Okanagan, Similkameen, and Thompson regions.

READ MORE: Envision Financial giving away $1 million to help communities thrive

Recognizing they could have a greater impact together, First West launched the Full Cupboard to replicate the hugely impactful program with Envision Financial and Island Savings.

“Food Banks BC wishes to congratulate the Envision Financial team on reaching this amazing milestone,” said Dan Huang-Taylor, the executive director of Food Banks BC.

“The impact these funds have had on helping us feed communities in BC cannot be overstated, and we are deeply grateful to Envision Financial and First West Credit Union for their commitment and allyship in the fight against hunger.”

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