Interior Community Services

 A grant from the Valley First Community Endowment is allowing Interior Community Services (ICS) to expand its programming and deliver greater food and nutrition resources and education in the Thompson, Nicola and Cariboo regions.
 
The $6,500 received from the Valley First endowment, which is housed with the First West Foundation, has been used to fund equipment start-up kits and train-the-trainer workshops at independent community kitchens. Rather than providing food parcels, the ICS is providing something even more valuable – food and nutrition education, skills and awareness.
 
“Hunger and food security issues are all too real in our communities,” says Valley First Kamloops branch manager Donna Erickson. “Valley First’s endowment grant will provide the kind of education and assistance that will last much longer than simply giving a person a hot meal. Healthy individuals and families are the backbone of strong, sustainable communities.”
 
Through the community kitchens program, ICS works to address issues of food affordability, availability and healthy preparation. By providing accessible nutrition-related knowledge, ICS can help reduce the reliance on other community resources.
 
“The Valley First endowment grant has given us a real boost,” says ICS community development manager Karen Rosenke. “We can now further expand our community kitchens program and teach even more people how to eat healthy and within their means. This expansion simply wouldn’t have been possible without the Valley First Endowment grant.”
 
In 2011, throughout the Okanagan, Similkameen and Thompson communities, the First West Foundation supported charities and initiatives helping children, families, and youth at risk of hunger, by donating more than $40,000 to seven organizations from the Valley First Community Endowment.
 
The Valley First Community Endowment was created in 2010 with an initial $1 million donation from Valley First as a lasting legacy of community support. Each year, First West Credit Union donates a portion of its profits to grow the Endowment.