Valley First Community Endowment distributes $113,029 to 21 charities

We’re very excited to announce the 2015 grant distributions which totaled $113,029. In 2010, Valley First established a charitable endowment with the First West Foundation to generate ongoing community funding in the Valley First region.

Grants from this fund are supporting charities and programs addressing hunger and food security issues throughout Valley First’s communities.

Below is an overview of the 21 charities and the projects being funded:

Organization Name /

Project Name

Project Description


Grant Amount

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Kamloops & Region 


Go Girls!  Mentoring Program

Go Girls! is a group mentoring program for girls aged 9-13 (Grades 4 - 7) that focuses on physical activity, balanced eating, relationships and self-esteem.  The single, most important goal of the program is to positively shape the lives of young women and girls by helping them build a positive self-image – setting them on a path to reach their full potential in life.



SD22  -  Clarence Fulton Secondary


Breakfast Program

A 40 week daily breakfast program for any of our students who need it.  Our intent is for students to learn that eating a healthy, nutritious, inexpensive breakfast has a positive effect on their learning. 



SD53  -  Oliver Elementary


Farm 2 School Program

Farm 2 School Salad Bar: a local farmer provides fresh vegetables in season, a local caterer prepares the meals, and the Kiwanis Club deliver the meals. Salad Bar meals are served 2 x/week at lunch. Also has an educational component to teach students about healthy eating and nutrition.



SD 53  -  Cawston Primary School


Breakfast & Lunch Program

Funds to pay for the breakfast food provided to the children – available every morning for any child who wishes to eat.  Funds to pay for the hot lunch food costs for needy children - available one day a week in the school as well as a bag lunch program.

Cawston, Keremeos


SD58  -  John Alison School


JA Kitchen Kids

We are seeking funding to run our Kitchen Kids Program for a third year at our primary school.  The funding will provide for food costs of the cooking lessons for the school year.  Our goals are for the students (ages 4-9) is to develop the knowledge and skills in cooking and nutrition, and lifelong skills in cooking.   




SD67  -  McNicoll Park Middle School


Vulnerable Youth Breakfast Club

A breakfast program aimed at vulnerable boys and girls at the school.  The program meets the students’ nutritional needs, teaches them cooking skills, setting a table, appropriate socializing and ultimately cleaning up. It also provides a safe space to connect with others, to have appropriate adult role models and to help them feel part of our school.



SD67  -  KVR Middle School


Breakfast Program

Breakfast Program open to all students serving between 50-80 students a day. Many are students who face extreme poverty and hunger issues in the community.



Boys and Girls Club of Kamloops


Friday Family Night Program

Each Friday, the Society provides a no-cost meal and activity for families in Kamloops. The program is open to all families. The activities are purposely planned to encourage families to be physically active, designed to strengthen family unity and to provide unique opportunities they might otherwise be unable to afford.



Food Action Society of the North Okanagan


Cook It! Try It! Like It!

Program teaches children how to prepare simple healthy snacks/meals and promotes an awareness of food safety, where food comes from, and how to make healthy choices. Will run in partnership with partner charities and school districts.

Armstrong, Lumby, Vernon


Food For Thought Kelowna Breakfast Society


Food Preservation Project



To preserve food for our breakfast program and provide much needed training for at-risk youth. We plan to hire at-risk youth for 200 hours of paid training in culinary arts, warehousing and team building skills. Students will earn their Food Safe certification. The end result will be students with job ready skills and food preserved for the coming school year.



Lower Similkameen Community Services Society


Gustavson House – Adult Mental Health Drop In Meals Enhancement &

Emergency Offerings

Project #1:  Meals for “Gustavson House Supper Group” for approximately 8 adults who suffer from chronic mental illness.  Poverty and mental health concerns create a barrier to organized shopping and food preparation. 

Project #2:  Emergency Food Packages for youth, seniors and families.  We frequently encounter individuals who have “fallen through the cracks” and are in quite desperate circumstances. 

Cawston, Keremeos


North Okanagan Youth & Family Services


Food Awareness for Young Parents

Funds to provide our Young Parents Group (pregnant or parenting moms and dads up to age 19) with healthy food preparation skills and food storage equipment that would be utilized by the group on a monthly basis in Vernon, BC. The program will teach participants how to access low cost food and will provide healthy food options to promote optimal brain and physical development for their babies.



Okanagan School of the Arts


Steam Kettle for Community Kitchen

The purchase of a steam kettle for the Penticton Rotary Community Learning Kitchen that will provide farmers, instructors, volunteers and organizations the ability to process large batches of foods. The intent is for the Shatford Centre to be a food hub and learning centre for the Okanagan Similkameen region. The steam kettle is an integral piece of equipment for the success of the new kitchen.  



Peachland Wellness Centre Society


Intergenerational Cooking Program

Funding for an Intergenerational Cooking Program.  Through the Program, participants will learn valuable Life Skills including nutrition, cooking, preserving, and meal planning on a budget and using the most current Canada Food Guide.



Penticton & District Community Resources Society


Nutritional Enhancement Project for Penticton Childcare

Their childcare programs offer a variety of nutritional elements. PDCRS would like to continue offering the ability to meet the nutritional needs of the children, serve and teach them about healthy cooking, eating, and shopping.



Princeton Family Services Society


The Human Upload

Computer sessions for seniors as well as, an ongoing once a week two hour one-to-one tutoring program for the technology challenged of all ages.  The program will seek out all seniors and hopes to bring seniors out of isolation through technology and new friendships, as well as give youth an opportunity to connect with the community, and log their school mandated leadership hours.



Project Literacy Kelowna Society


Adult Tutoring Program

This program will provide one-on-one job-specific English and math tutoring for adults, who need to improve these skills in order to secure sustainable employment. Some participants may already be employed and trying to hold on to their job, trying to advance within their workplace, or trying to qualify for alternative employment.



Royal Inland Hospital Foundation in association with JUMP


Large Scale Greenhouse

Funding will be used to build and assemble a pre-engineered large greenhouse and to also construct the growing tables for plant production. This project is necessary to sustain and expand our collective gardens by giving us the infrastructure to start our own plants and to distribute starter plants to people who do not have access to land but could grow gardens in their apartments.



Soup Sisters & Broth Brothers


Souper Youth

  Soup Sisters is seeking funding to support the expansion of our soup-making events in both Kelowna & Penticton to include young people ages 8-17 through our Souper Youth Initiative.  They will build positive relationships with each other, enhance their food literacy and learn the values of cooking collectively. Most importantly, they will learn the value of giving-back and philanthropy within their own demographic through the making, sharing and donating of soup.

Kelowna, Penticton


Okanagan Science Center


Food Waste Exhibit

Funding to create a food waste exhibit that will be on display at the Okanagan Science Centre.  Visitors to our exhibit will experience hands-on interactive activities teaching them about the extent of food waste, how food waste is linked to the issues of hunger and food security, and how they can reduce food waste for themselves and their family.



Whitevalley Community Resource Centre


Health & Nutrition Programming

Providing healthy food and snacks to different clients who might be vulnerable at their Senior Drop-In, Cooking for One class, Parent and Tot groups, After School/ Weekend and Summer Day Camp programs.