Island Savings employees Cindy Bryson and Jodi Keller stop for a quick photo at a barbecue fundraiser for The Full Cupboard. The program kicked-off last week with an initial $8

Local institution looks to address food bank demand

Start of the school year a tough time for some families

As the first day of the new school year inches closer, expenses continue to add up for parents. It is also a time of year when local food banks’ shelves are looking rather empty.

Island Savings has set its sights on addressing that need. The company’s aim is to provide 650,000 meals to Island children and families over the next three years. Their new community investment program, The Full Cupboard, looks to reduce hunger across the Island through a combination of food, funds and awareness raising activities. Every dollar raised will go directly to 11 food banks located in neighbourhoods served by Island Savings branches, including the Goldstream Food Bank.

“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,” Island Savings president Randy Bertsch said in a release. “Thanks to the buying power of food banks, one dollar 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 launched the program last week with an initial $8,800 raised through employee and member donations over the summer.

“Summer break is often the toughest part of the year for families,” added Allan Lingwood, interim executive director of The Mustard Seed in Victoria. “School-based meal programs end, parents have to address additional childcare needs and then stress over preparations for their children going back to school.”

Lingwood noted the The Mustard Seed alone sees up to a 25-per-cent increase in both food bank use and family hamper distribution as parents face competing priorities heading into September.

“Creating The Full Cupboard – working towards a reality where no Island child goes hungry – is a natural fit with the values we’ve been living out on Vancouver Island, Salt Spring and Pender since our business began,” continued Bertsch. “One in three Island food bank users is a child, a fact that our communities need to be acutely aware of if we’re going to be able to move the dial on hunger.”

Islands Savings has been working on addressing that need through its Growing Island Families Together (GIFT) program for the past six years. GIFT aims to help at-risk children across the region build self-confidence and resilience and increase engagement within their local communities. The Full Cupboard is an expansion of that program.

Until Sept. 1, Island Savings will donate $1 for every share The Full Cupboard video receives from the organization’s Facebook page ( Financial donations to the program can also be made at any Island Savings branch, including in Langford at 2917 Jacklin Rd. or online at

Just Posted

Sooke will see 5 a.m. transit departures this fall

Mayor says there’s a long way to go to improve bus services

Family cycling affair Tour de Victoria rolls into ninth year

Riders can sign up for the 160 km Factor race, or distances of 140, 100, 60 30 0r 15 kilometers

Big Lonely Doug among largest old-growth trees now on protection list

B.C. to protect 54 old-growth trees, but critics say it’s not enough

Owners of Saanich coastal bluff home say it does not damage environment

Douglas and Brenda MacAskill rest their claim on a report with unknown authorship

Swastikas appear on downtown Victoria bus shelters

VicPD says graffiti has increased significantly in last six months

VIDEO: Sparrows raise their chicks in Cadboro Bay deck planter

Jill Yoneda captured 11 days up close with tiny Junco sparrows

Greater Victoria wanted list for the week of July 16

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Olympic softball qualifier gets $150K boost from provincial government

2019 Americas Qualifier to be held in Surrey from Aug. 25-Sept. 1

Gas price inquiry questions Trans Mountain capacity, company denies collusion

The first of up to four days of oral hearings in the inquiry continue in Vancouver

‘Benzos’ and fentanyl a deadly cocktail causing a growing concern on B.C. streets

Overdoses caused by benzodiazepines can’t be reversed with opioid-overdose antidote naloxone

Chinook retention begins on North Island, but amid new size limit

DFO calls measures ‘difficult but necessary’ following rockslide on Fraser River

Will you be celebrating national hotdog day with any of these crazy flavours?

The popularity of hotdogs spans generations, cultures

Former home of accused Penticton shooter vandalized

Ex-wife of man who is accused of murdering four people had her house vandalized

Survivor of near-drowning in B.C. lake viewing life through new eyes

“If I died that day, the baby wouldn’t know his dad,” said 31-year-old Mariano Santander-Melo.

Most Read