Credit Union generosity prevails on International Credit Union Day & World Food Day
On Thursday, October 16, 2014, credit unions from a round the world celebrated International Credit Union Day.
“Local Service. Global Good” was the theme for this year’s celebration and was a perfect complement for the staff and members of Nelson & District Credit Union (NDCU) who also spent the day recognizing World Food Day.
This shared date allowed NDCU and its members to show how “Local Service” is truly the credit union difference.
Through an outstanding show of support, Credit Union staff, members and many local businesses showed their generosity. The three community branches collectively raised over 800 pounds of food and collected $1682 in donations from members for Kootenay food agencies in Nelson, Rossland and the East Shore.
Included in that total is a $1500 cheque from NDCU’s Community Investment Program, presented to the Nelson Food Cupboard Society.
The Nelson Food Cupboard marked October 16, World Food Day, with the kick-off of its community event called “Chew on This…”
Nelson & District Credit Union’s $1500 financial donation will support this week – long event to help raise awareness around what it is like to have to rely on food banks and other social agencies for food.
More than 20 community members have accepted the challenge to eat for one week on only what they receive from local food banks. The monies from the Credit Union go towards replenishing food stocks distributed to participants during the event.
NDCU’s commitment to this initiative extends beyond the food raised and financial contribution made. One NDCU employee, Cherese Guille, is participating in the weeklong challenge.
The experience has really opened her eyes to the challenges of maintaining her accustomed diet and the benefit of local food agencies.
“I went into this challenge thinking options would be diverse and I might find what I want.
After two visits, I quickly realized how real this is for a lot of people. You don’t get to choose what you want, you take what you need.”
Cherese adds, “I am still adjusting to using what’s available and making a creative meal out of it. I have been fortunate that a few of the agencies have had fresh plums and root vegetables donated and available.
“The one thing I am struggling with the most is access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Normally I don’t think twice about buying them, but on this challenge you make do with what you can. The food agencies have been amazing and very welcoming.”
The outcome for those participating is a greater awareness of the challenges facing those in poverty, as well as the direct experience for community members who can influence policy and community development.
Kim Charlesworth, Coordinator for the Nelson Food Cupboard Society, is also participating in the challenge and acknowledges that,
“The support and participation from local businesses, like Nelson & District Credit Union, is absolutely critical to the success of our events as well as our ongoing operations.”
“Because so much of our budget relies on donations it is so important for local businesses, office teams, and individuals to understand what we do and how we do it.
The Credit Union’s support has gone beyond donations, to helping us bring awareness to the community.”
Photo Caption: Kim Charlesworth, Coordinator for the Nelson Food Cupboard Society, receiving a cheque and food collected at NDCU-Nelson Branch during ICU Day & World Food Day. Presenting on behalf of NDCU staff and members are Cherese Guille (center) and Tom Atkins.