VICTORIA, BC (December 6, 2019) - The VIATEC Foundation has announced $130,000 in philanthropic donations. They revealed that VIATEC members have raised $70,000 in a fundraising campaign for The Mustard Seed as well as $60,000 in philanthropic funding towards four new local projects.
The VIATEC Foundation Food Bank Challenge, now in its 17th year, is a month-long competition among local tech companies to raise as many food and cash donations as possible for the Mustard Seed Food Bank. This year, the challenge took place from November 4th to December 2nd with 35 local companies competing.
The efforts of participating companies saw a total of $63,406.00 in cash and 3,297 lbs of food collected for The Mustard Seed. At $2 per pound, the weight of the food donations is equal to $6,594.00, bringing the total value of fundraising efforts to $70,000 - a 40% increase over last year’s totals; all this before VIATEC’s sold-out Flamingle All the Way fundraising event last night.
The $70,000 raised will feed 1,498.36 families of four for 1 month at the Mustard Seed Food Bank. This equals 5,957.44 individuals!
“It is our honour to continue to play a role in encouraging our generous members by creating opportunities of community giving,” said VIATEC CEO, Dan Gunn.
Since its inception in 2002, $2,201,714.40 worth of food and cash has been donated to the Mustard Seed through companies participating in the VIATEC Foundation Food Bank Challenge. With this year’s amount, the challenge has now raised a total of $2,323,420.80!
This year, companies got creative in their fundraising efforts - notable events included:
Flytographer Merry Hour - a silent auction event that raised $3500
StarFish Medical Bird Poop Bingo - you had to see it to believe it
Waterworth team suffering incentives
Gunn offered his congratulations to competing companies saying, “They’ve been digging deep, having fun and making a difference as part of the VIATEC Foundation Food Bank Challenge for almost two decades and it’s because of them that many families will have food on the table this holiday season and throughout the year. All the credit goes to our members and donors; we look forward to aiding them for many more decades to come.”
This year’s challenge winners were Starfish Medical, taking home the title for Greatest Overall Contributor, and Waterworth who won Greatest Per-Employee Contributor.
VIATEC Foundation Also Announces Support For Four New Projects
In addition to this substantial contribution to The Mustard Seed Food Bank, the VIATEC Foundation announced $60,000 in support for four new projects.
The Independent Media Producers Network Society will receive $16K in funding ($10K from the VIATEC Foundation, $6K from the Victoria Foundation and other fund contributors) for MediaNet’s Filmmaking Camp for Indigenous youth. The program will take place in summer 2020 and see 15 Indigenous youth mentored by local filmmakers through partnerships with the Pacific People’s Partnership and the PEPÁḴEṈ HÁUTW̱ Foundation. The completed films, focusing on the environment and food security, will be screened at MediaNet’s FLUX Gallery as part of the Pacific Peoples Parternship’s annual One Wave Festival in September 2020.
The Greater Victoria Public Library (GPVL) Board will receive $15K in funding ($10K from the VIATEC Foundation, $5K from the Victoria Foundation and other fund contributors) to support a Digital Media Lab. The GVPL seeks “to offer new tools and learning opportunities that support the creativity and self-expression of individuals in the community while increasing the use and awareness of existing resources offered.” This funding will support the first phase of planning and designing a digital media lab that will host equipment to convert photographs, slides, audio cassette tapes and VHS tapes into digital formats.
Junior Achievement of British Columbia (JABC) will receive $15K in funding ($10K from the VIATEC Foundation, $5K from the Victoria Foundation and other fund contributors) for JABC TechWorks Victoria. This program will provide 350 local grade 9 and 10 students the opportunity to explore technology-related careers. TechWorks Victoria is designed to inspire and motivate students to pursue subjects, such as mathematics and science, by providing a glimpse of the rewarding career opportunities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.
The Gender Equity Fund will receive $30K in funding from the VIATEC Foundation. This leadership fund will support gender equity initiatives in our region. An example of a current initiative is the Victoria Foundation’s partnership on a gender equity lab to identify solutions that promote gender equity in employment in the Capital Region.
2019 VIATEC Foundation Food Bank Challenge Top Contributors:
Greatest Per-Employee Contributor:
2nd runner-up: Metamend ($135.20 per employee)
1st place: Waterworth ($367.14 per employee)
Greatest Overall Contributor:
2nd runner-up: Benevity ($7,827.25 cash and 48 lbs of food)
1st runner-up: AbeBooks ($9,465.00 cash and 81 lbs of food)
1st place: StarFish Medical ($10,738.00 cash and 405 lbs of food)
An honourable mention also goes to Lekker Food Distributors who donated 1,042 lbs of food!
2019 VIATEC Foundation Food Bank Challenge Participants:
VIATEC (Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council), started in 1989. Our mission is to serve as the one-stop hub that connects people, knowledge and resources to grow and promote the Greater Victoria technology sector (Technology is Victoria's #1 industry with a $4.06 Billion Annual Revenue, a $5.22 Billion Economic Impact and over 16,775 employees across 995 high-tech companies - and growing!)
We work closely with our members to offer a variety of events, programs and services. In addition, VIATEC serves as the “front door” of the local tech sector and as its spokesperson. To better support local innovators, we acquired our own building (Fort Tectoria) where we offer flexible and affordable office space to emerging local companies along with a gathering / event space for local entrepreneurs. www.viatec.ca
About the VIATEC Foundation
The VIATEC Foundation was founded to encourage, support and enable the generosity of the Victoria tech community by bringing them together for greater impact, coordinating their efforts, collecting and sharing the amount and impact of their philanthropic activities, and reducing the time and effort of individual tech companies reviewing requests for support.
It focuses its support on initiatives directed at Diversity and Inclusion, Access to Innovation, Social Impact through Innovation, Food Security and Education.
About the Mustard Seed Street Church
The Mustard Seed Street Church has been essential in fighting hunger and restoring faith to a large portion of people living in poverty, as well as the working poor in Greater Victoria since 1975. The Mustard Seed’s operations are nearly 100 percent community funded and include Vancouver Island’s largest food bank, a Family Center, hospitality programs, and addictions recovery at Hope Farm Healing Centre, as well as more traditional church services.
The Mustard Seed Street Church positively impacts, on average, 5,000 individuals per month with more than 50 volunteers keeping things running every day. With your help, lives are transformed on a daily basis! www.mustardseed.ca
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