Island Savings employees Cindy Bryson and Jodi Keller at a BBQ fundraiser for The Full Cupboard.

Island Savings employees Cindy Bryson and Jodi Keller at a BBQ fundraiser for The Full Cupboard.

Nanaimo credit union targets hunger

NANAIMO – Island Savings launches The Full Cupboard program.

With back-to-school expenses on the horizon and empty food bank shelves in Island communities, the Island Savings division of First West Credit Union has set a goal to provide the equivalent of 650,000 meals to Island children and families over the next three years.

Through a combination of food, money and awareness-raising activities, The Full Cupboard is a new community investment program from Island Savings.

“At this time of year thousands of Island parents are stretched to buy new clothing and school supplies while still managing to put food on the table,” said Randy Bertsch, president of Island Savings.  “Thanks to the buying power of food banks, $1 a day can feed a child in B.C. – and so raising funds with our members and employees through The Full Cupboard will relieve some of this immediate need for food while we develop capacity-building programs to reduce food bank dependence in the long term.”

Island Savings launches The Full Cupboard with an initial $8,800 raised through employee and member donations over the summer.  Every dollar goes directly to 11 food banks located in the neighbourhoods that Island Savings serves.

Donors can also choose to support the “greatest need,” whereby donations are funnelled by Food Banks B.C. to any Island-based food bank with urgent needs.

“With over 1,000 youth accessing our programming each month this support is critical,” said Peter Sinclair, executive director of Loaves and Fishes community food bank in Nanaimo.

In addition to raising money, The Full Cupboard will help food banks with in-kind volunteer support and awareness-raising activities so that food and cash donations from the public can be even more effective.

Financial donations can be made in any Island Savings branch or online at

Island Savings will also be donating $1 for every share The Full Cupboard video receives from the organization’s Facebook page ( before Sept. 1.