One of Izola Bank’s senior executives is about to undertake a mammoth cycling challenge to help raise money for Malta’s Victory Kitchen which is aiming to buy a new refrigerated van to help it keep feeding the hungry.

Josef Frendo, head of Izola’s credit department, will be taking part in the Lepape Marmotte Grandfondo Alpes event on Sunday, July 3. Spread over 177km and reaching 5,000 altimeters, this incredible course navigates through beautiful but tricky terrain in the Alps. 

Cyclists must scale four legendary mountain passes and conquer 3 HC Category climbs. Taking place just after the Tour de France, Lepape Marmotte Grandfondo Alpes is one of the most revered cycling challenges in the world, attracting thousands of avid riders.

A keen cyclist, Frendo believes this next challenge will be his toughest yet. 

“This is an event I’ve always wanted to participate in. The training is intensive and learning how to stay focused and energised when you’re that high up in the mountains is no easy feat. But the fact that this is for such a brilliant cause makes the effort worthwhile in every way. We would like to raise the remaining €20,000 to help Victory Kitchen purchase its new refrigerated van outright.”

Rafel Sammut, chef and founder of Victory Kitchen, which currently feeds struggling families with around 1,700 meals a week, explains the importance of the van and how the demand for Victory Kitchen’s meals has grown.

“We first set up Victory Kitchen when we realised how many people were impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Now with rising food prices and many struggling to make ends meet, the demand for our services is ongoing. We’ve had a brilliant relationship with eCabs which helped to deliver our meals over the last two years, but understandably this was only an interim solution,” he said.

“With Izola Bank’s support and Josef Frendo’s ambition to take on the French Alps, we can close off the purchase of the new refrigerated van and ensure we can keep delivering meals to the hungry around Malta.”

Izola Bank, also one of the main sponsors of the local NGO Foodbank Lifeline Foundation, is dedicated to help ensure that no one in Malta should ever suffer the indignity of hunger. Andrew Mifsud, CEO of Izola Bank explained the background to the bank’s support of such causes.

“A few years back I had the pleasure of meeting Reverend Kim Hurst who was the founder of Foodbank Lifeline when it was under the patronage of St Andrews Scots Church. We discussed at length the fact that Malta had no official foodbank providing food directly to people in need and the alarming number of people on the cusp of the poverty line struggling to stock their cupboards.”

“Not to mention Rev. Kim herself witnessing people going through bins looking for thrown away food to eat. A hungry society can’t function as well as it should. We believe no one should suffer like this. Supporting Victory Kitchen is a natural extension of our efforts to help keep the hungry in Malta fed.”

Frendo’s progress will be shown on both Victory Kitchen and Izola Bank’s Facebook and Instagram pages for those wanting to follow the run up to the challenge.

Those wanting to donate can do so directly to Victory Kitchen via Revolut to 9944 1950 or via Izola Bank to IBAN: MT48IZOL66110000000001001000001 BIC: IZOL MTMT

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