The Duncan Cowichan Chamber of Commerce’s Dine & Sip Cowichan has raised $10,000 for local food banks.
This is the second year the chamber has partnered with Island Savings to incorporate a give-back element to the culinary festival.
For every Dine Cowichan meal purchased during the campaign this year, Island Savings donated $5 to local Cowichan-area food banks through their signature cause, The Full Cupboard.
Thanks to substantial partnership support, including funding from Community Futures Cowichan and Tourism Cowichan, the popular event was expanded this year to include 34 restaurants, eateries and specialty food vendors, as well as 12 wineries, breweries, cideries and distilleries.
In the days following the final day of the festival, which ran from March 3-28, participating businesses provided the Chamber with their respective Dine & Sip meal counts, which have totalled well over 3,600, far surpassing the goal of 2,000 and guaranteeing the maximum donation offered up by Island Savings in its Get a Meal, Give a Meal campaign.
“As a financial cooperative, we know the value of a community coming together for a common goal,” said Jason Farrugia, branch manager at Island Savings and volunteer director on the Chamber’s board of directors.
“Through this partnership, we were able to provide over 30,000 meals for local families during a time of great uncertainty. Combine that with being able to support local businesses, and you get a perfect example of the community lifting each other up.”
First-time participant, the Italian Kitchen & Deli at Grove Hall Farm, expressed gratitude for the opportunity to join so many “wonderful local food and beverage establishments” in offering their unique selection of Italian and farm-to-table cuisine.
“We hope some new customers had the chance to taste some of our delicious Italian food,” said co-owner Laura Brizzi.
“Supporting local is especially important in these very trying times. Thank you Cowichan Valley for your support.”