Bellingham, WA (April 16, 2020) – Over the last three weeks, WECU has purchased more than 600 lunches for medical professionals and first responders from local restaurants impacted by the Coronavirus economic slowdown. The credit union is calling the program “First Responders Eat First.”
“Early on we realized the need to support these local restaurants,” said Kent Bouma, VP of Business Banking at WECU. “We knew that while buying lunch from these struggling local restaurants wouldn’t rescue them, it was a step in the right direction.”
In all, WECU has purchased lunch from 13 different local restaurants including Bellingham Cider Company, El Nopal, Good to Go Meat Pies, and Café Rumba.
The groups that have received lunches include an entire shift of employees at St. Joseph’s Hospital, all Bellingham fire departments and all Ferndale fire departments.
“These first responders and medical professionals are the heroes of this pandemic. We wanted to show them our support and appreciation,” said Bouma.
WECU is also partnering with the newly opened District Brewing Company in Mt. Vernon to offer free pizza or salad to first responders and medical workers in Skagit County.
“First Responders Eat First” is just one of the ways WECU’s has supported local businesses during the Coronavirus pandemic. WECU’s business banking team is also offering Payment Protection Loans through the SBA and has created an emergency assistance program. The program includes loan payment deferral for WECU business members and two new line of credit options.
With more than 130,000 members and more than $1.8 billion in assets, WECU is the largest not-for-profit credit union in Whatcom County. WECU has 415 local employees and gave close to $500,000 to various local nonprofits and community groups in 2019.
Keith Mader, Program Manager PR & Content at WECU, 360-756-7694, [email protected]