First Tech Federal Credit Union awards over $400,000 in innovation grants to 40 nonprofit organizations across west coast

Provides access to food, shelter, and safety in local communities

SAN JOSE, CA (December 3, 2020) — First Tech Federal Credit Union, the nation’s seventh largest credit union, promotes access to food, shelter, and safety resources by awarding more than $419,000 in grants to 40 nonprofit organizations, demonstrating its continuous commitment to the communities it serves in Washington, Oregon, and California.

“The need in our communities for food, shelter and safety is greater than ever, and our 2020 Innovation Grant partners are diligently working to provide these essential resources,” said First Tech Senior Director of Community Engagement Nicole Frisch. “With these partnerships, we are able to make a positive impact in the communities we serve, and nurture the next generation of leaders, thinkers and innovators.”

First Tech’s community partners are working to address the immediate and urgent needs caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring children and families have access to the critical resources they need. With a strong commitment to equity and innovation, these partners are providing culturally-centered programming and support to the most vulnerable communities across our footprint.

Innovation Grant Partner Quotes:

  • “With the high cost of living in the Bay Area, many individuals and families are making tradeoffs between paying for housing and purchasing nutritious food. First Tech’s Innovation Grant directly supports our mission to ensure that anyone who needs a healthy meal can get one,” said Leslie Bacho, CEO for Second Harvest of Silicon Valley.
  • “Hunger isn’t just a lone empty belly; it’s a community-wide symptom of systemic barriers to employment, housing, healthcare and more,” shared Susannah Morgan, Oregon Food Bank CEO. “With strong community support like the First Tech Innovation Grant, we can remove these barriers and help end hunger in our communities — especially among people of color and others who disproportionately experience poverty here in Oregon.”
  • “Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, families impacted by poverty have been extremely vulnerable to financial shocks threatening their education, employment, housing, and overall stability,” said Jeni Craswell, Vice President of Advancement and External Relations, Hopelink (First Tech member since 1992). “With this First Tech Innovation Grant, we will support people as they work toward financial stability, building a more resilient community one dollar at a time.”

California First Tech Innovation Grant Partners:

First Tech designated $122,750 in California to support community organizations; California First Tech Innovation Grant partners include:

  • Center for Excellence in Nonprofits, Redwood City; $10,000 to support the CEN Bay Area Capacity Building Initiative, aiding organizations that offer integral resources and training to communities hit hardest by the pandemic.
  • Friends of the Children – SF BAY AREA, San Francisco; $10,000 to support the Innovative Access to Nutritional Resources Project, providing high-quality produce to local families who live in food deserts.
  • Placer Food Bank, Roseville; $10,000 to provide technology upgrades, allowing for efficient and effective communication with volunteers, hunger-relief partners and donors.
  • Raphael House of San Francisco Inc., San Francisco; $14,000 to fund the Residential Shelter and Bridge Services, providing families who are struggling with homelessness a safe, stable home where the entire family receives crucial support services to break the cycle of poverty and emerge from homelessness permanently.
  • Sacred Heart Community Service, San Jose; $5,000 to the Building Equitable Food Systems project, providing low-income residents with the necessary materials to grow an organic garden in their home.
  • Second Harvest of Silicon Valley, San Jose; $40,000 to aid 2020-2021 general operating support to feed families.
  • Amigos de Guadalupe Center for Justice and Empowerment, San Jose; $6,250 to support the Safe Park Program, providing a safe place to sleep for people experiencing homelessness.
  • Southwest YMCA, San Jose; $6,250 to support the Safe Park Program and emergency financial assistance for families experiencing homelessness due to the pandemic.
  • Valley Verde, San Jose; $15,000 to support community food systems through a combination of urban gardening and entrepreneurship to build healthier, more self-sufficient communities.
  • West Valley Community Service, San Jose; $6,250 to support the Safe Park Program and emergency financial assistance to support families impacted most by the pandemic.

Oregon First Tech Innovation Grant Partners:

In Oregon, First Tech awarded $195,500 to community organizations; Oregon First Tech Innovation Grant partners include:

  • Bienestar, Hillsboro; $5,000 to support the COVID-19 Response Communications Project, implementing new and innovative technology solutions to quickly distribute reliable, bilingual information about COVID-19 to Bienestar residents.
  • Bradley Angle, Portland; $5,000 to support the Survivor Assistance Fund, providing resources for domestic abuse survivors to obtain stable housing.
  • Clackamas Service Center Inc., Portland; $5,000 to support the COVID-19 Responsive Community Nutrition program, addressing food insecurity with customized food boxes.
  • Clackamas Women’s Services, Oregon City; $4,000 to provide an innovative model of delivery for emergency shelter and support services for victims of domestic and sexual violence during COVID-19.
  • Coalition for Communities of Color, Portland; $5,000 to support The Research Justice Institute, engaging with its culturally specific member organizations to co-construct a data justice strategy.
  • Community Action Organization, Hillsboro; $7,500 to provide emergency rent and utility assistance to protect low-income families that lost income due to evictions and homelessness during COVID-19.
  • Friends of the Children – Portland, Portland; $10,000 to support the No Matter What Initiative, providing professional mentorship and essential relationships for 500+ youth over the next 12 months.
  • Growing Gardens, Portland; $5,000 to support the Youth Grow and Home Gardens programs, ensuring that low-income families and children have access to healthy food and positive food resources during COVID-19.
  • Marion-Polk Food Share Inc., Salem; $7,000 to support the Nourishing Neighbors Through Food Distribution/Production Programs to increase access to healthy food for all people in Marion and Polk counties.
  • Oregon Food Bank Inc., Portland; $75,000 to support the Emerge Stronger Systems Change Project, a year-round civic engagement effort.
  • Partners for a Hunger Free Oregon, Portland; $5,000 in general operating funds to expand food access during and after the pandemic.
  • Portland Homeless Family Solutions, Portland; $5,000 in general operating support of the 24-hour Family Village shelter for families with children.
  • Raphael House of Portland, Portland; $22,000 to support the 2020 Virtual Gala, which helped raise funds for over 400 adults and children who rely on the Raphael House for shelter, housing, food and hygiene supplies, safety planning, financial aid, and more.
  • Store to Door, Portland; $5,000 to Support A Week 2020, engaging community partners in a way that directly supports the clients and the grocery delivery service that meets their needs each week.
  • Urban Gleaners, Portland; $15,000 to the 2021 Food Recovery to Fight Childhood Food Insecurity Initiative, fighting against childhood food insecurity by providing free and nutritious food to families.
  • Willamette West – Habitat for Humanity, Hillsboro; $10,000 to support the 2021 Critical Home Repair Program, assisting homeowners in need of critical repairs that they cannot afford due to their income level.
  • With Love Oregon, Tigard; $5,000 to the Retro Fitting Warehouse Space Initiative, as well as purchasing and distributing new mattresses to foster families.

Washington First Tech Innovation Grant Partners:

First Tech designated $101,000 in Washington to support community organizations; Washington First Tech Innovation Grant partners include:

  • Bellevue LifeSpring, Bellevue; $5,000 to support Bellevue LifeSpring COVID-19 Food Response, providing Safeway vouchers for students who relied on free and reduced-price meals at school prior to the pandemic.
  • EastWest Food Rescue, Redmond; $12,500 to fund a cold storage trailer for perishable foods including dairy, meat, fruit, and frozen foods that help address food insecurity in local communities.
  • FareStart, Seattle; $5,000 to support the Community Meals/Emergency Meals program, promoting food security for Seattle-area youth and adults during the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Food Lifeline, Seattle; $10,000 to aid the Regional Food Equity Initiative, providing farm workers and indigenous people with access to more culturally appropriate foods through COVID-19 response emergency mobile food distributions.
  • Friends of the Children – Seattle, Seattle; $10,000 to respond to food insecurity by delivering food and essential supplies to families in King County during COVID-19.
  • Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank, Issaquah; $3,500 to youth programming, providing low barrier access to healthy, kid-friendly foods for students and families each week that school would normally be in session throughout the at-home learning phase.
  • Hopelink, Redmond; $10,000 to provide tools and resources for impoverished families to find financial stability.
  • Mary’s Place, Seattle; $5,000 to Popsicle Place, providing families with medically fragile children access to private rooms with 24-hour access, nutritious meals, supportive care coordination, and medical staff and volunteers.
  • Northwest Harvest, Seattle; $5,000 to provide curbside service of pre-bagged groceries for more than 4,000 people per week via the SODO Community Market, as well as biweekly pantry services via the Mobile Food Bank.
  • Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission, Seattle; $10,000 to provide for the urgent physical needs of homeless individuals, starting them on a path out of homelessness and into a healthy life.
  • The Pike Place Market Foundation, Seattle; $5,000 to the Market Foundation, addressing food security for Market-area and downtown families by providing access to a food bank, subsidized CSA, and reduced-price shopping programs.
  • West Seattle Food Bank, Seattle; $5,000 to the Emergency Rent & Utility Assistance Program to prevent eviction and homelessness for 1,300 individuals, utilizing technology to increase capacity and accessibility.
  • YWCA Clark County, Vancouver; $15,000 to offset the impact of the pandemic with general operating support and for capacity building efforts.

About First Tech Federal Credit Union

First Tech Federal Credit Union is a nearly $17 billion institution headquartered in Hillsboro, Oregon and San Jose, California. The nation’s premier credit union serves the world’s leading technology-oriented companies and their employees, including HP Inc., Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Microsoft, Agilent, Intel, Cisco, Amazon, Nike, Intuit, Google, and more. First Tech is recognized as the industry catalyst for delivering effortless banking experiences to more than 660,000 members through its 34 branch locations, more than 5,600 CO-OP Shared Branch locations, 30,000 CO-OP Network ATMs, and online platforms. First Tech offers a full range of financial services, including traditional banking, online banking, mortgages, financial planning, various consumer loans, and insurance services. Federally insured by NCUA. Equal Housing Lender. For more information, visit    


Carey Kerns
The Hoffman Agency



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