Visitors to the Surrey location of the Quest Food Exchange will have better choices in fresh produce thanks to a $10,000 donation from the First West Foundation that helped Quest purchase a used walk-in cooler and freezer. The addition of this amenity will allow Quest to collect and store more perishable items on site, so that donations last longer and our clients will benefit from having fresher items to choose from.
Johanne Larochelle, manager of the Surrey food market says “the walk-in cooler has allowed us to reduce the amount of perishable items we have to compost because fruits and vegetables can be stored in the cooler until the shelves need to be restocked. She also adds, “our customers have noticed the increased selection and comment on the freshness of the produce.”
Quest was pleased to have the opportunity to show representatives from the First West Foundation the walk-in cooler and freezer in August.
Executive Director, Seline Kutan makes a point of visiting the projects that the Foundation provides funding to. “Right now it’s manageable to visit our donees. It’s a great opportunity to see first hand where the Foundation’s money goes and to get to meet the individuals involved in running these successful organizations.”
Ms. Kutan was joined by board members Lois Wilkinson and Peter Podovinikoff who were both impressed by Quest’s food exchange model, which not only addresses reducing hunger with dignity, but also offers important volunteer opportunities while fostering environmental sustainability. “Quest fits perfectly within our funding mandate to provide much-needed support to community organizations that are working diligently to lend a helping hand to people living in our communities”, states Mr. Podovinikoff.
The First West Foundation (previously named Envision Credit Union Charitable Foundation) was established in 1996 by the management and Board of Directors of First West Credit Union. Its purpose is to support initiatives that enhance the quality of life in our communities and to create capital for sustainable community support by encouraging philanthropy. Since inception, the Foundation has proudly distributed over $1.6 million in grants to charities.