DUNCAN, B.C. – Island Savings, a division of First West Credit Union has donated $2,475 to food banks across Vancouver Island following a two-month pilot program, Get a Meal Give a Meal— a socio- economic initiative focused on supporting local businesses and providing financial aid to food banks amidst challenging times.
The program was initially designed as a way for members of the credit union to provide financial support to organizations feeling the effects of COVID-19.
“The Get a Meal Give a Meal program was created with our members in mind,” says Susan Byrom, Executive Director, Community Investment & First West Foundation. “Staying local and purchasing a meal provided an economic lift for our participating members. We don’t know what our future holds, but we do know we need to work together, and investing in our community is one of the very first places to start.”
Through the program, each order of $50+ at participating restaurants received a $25 discount, with each transaction also triggering a $5 donation to a local food bank. When the program concluded, $2,475 had been donated to food banks, in addition to more than $16,000 being invested in small businesses throughout Island Savings’ trade areas.
“When we were hit so hard by COVID-19 and had to shut down for long periods of time, it was an emotional time for us,” says Dale Schweighardt, Owner of Moby’s Pub on Salt Spring Island and Get a Meal, Give a Meal participant. “We had to lay off our entire staff, we had no idea what the future would hold, and then to have this opportunity—it really hit at exactly the right time.”
While the program’s approach was new this year, Get a Meal, Give a Meal was part of a larger Island Savings initiative—The Full Cupboard. Aimed at raising food, funds and awareness about the critical issue of hunger in our communities, The Full Cupboard has raised over $43,000 to date in 2020, with more than $350,000 donated to food banks in the program’s four-year history.
“Our sense of community has always been strong here on the Island, and the importance of supporting local has only been amplified in recent months,” explains Kendall Gross, President of Island Savings. “Seeing the community’s strong reception of this program and the support for people in need has been remarkable to witness.”
Visit here to make a donation to a food bank in your community.
For more information on the Get a Meal, Give a Meal program, please visit islandsavings.ca/giveameal.