Unlike in previous years, this year’s VIATEC Foundation Food Bank Challenge mainly took place online, with tech companies raising more than $72,000. (VIATEC/Submitted)

Unlike in previous years, this year’s VIATEC Foundation Food Bank Challenge mainly took place online, with tech companies raising more than $72,000. (VIATEC/Submitted)

Greater Victoria tech companies upload more than $72,000 in food bank donations

VIATEC Foundation Food Bank Challenge benefits Mustard Seed Food Bank

A Greater Victoria food bank will receive more than $72,000 in cash from local tech companies.

The 2020 VIATEC Foundation Food Bank Challenge raised $72,526 in cash for the Mustard Seed Food Bank, surpassing last year’s total of $70,000. The drive also collected 36.6 pounds of food. According to VIATEC, this year’s donation will help feed 1,700 families of four (or 6,800 individuals) for one month through the food bank.

Dan Gunn, VIATEC’s chief executive officer, said 2020 has been a “particularly tough year” for many in Greater Victoria. “(It) is a privilege to witness and support our members in doing what they can to give back and support those that need it the most,” he said.

“We’ve heard personal stories from members that have at one time needed the support of local food banks, and to see them get creative and pull together their colleagues to make a difference overwhelms us with admiration and pride.”

RELATED: Saanich Peninsula Lions Food Bank faces higher demand, fewer donations

Gunn said the fact that this year’s challenge exceeded last year’s donations “in such uncertain times is a credit to their love of this community and generosity.”

VIATEC said through a release that this year’s challenge focused on raising cash through Vancouver’s FundRazr online platform ahead of collecting physical food donations to ensure the safety of participants and donors during the COVID-19 pandemic.

VIATEC said Mustard Seed’s partnerships with local grocery suppliers allows the organization to buy more food per dollar than donating individuals can buy on their own for the same amount through the cash donations.

This year’s total brings the total raised by the VIATEC Foundation Food Bank Challenge to close to $2.4 million since its inception of 2002.

VIATEC (Victoria Innovation, Advanced Technology and Entrepreneurship Council) describes itself as a “one-stop hub that connects people, knowledge and resources to grow and promote the Greater Victoria technology sector.”


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