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Press Release - 'Cycle for Victory'

20 June 2022

By Izola Bank,

Cycle for Victory

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 5000 altimeters, this incredible course navigates through beautiful but incredibly tricky terrain in the Alps.

Cyclists must scale four legendary mountain passes and make it safely through twenty-one hairpin bends. 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, Josef 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 realized how many people were impacted by the Covid19 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 explains 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.’

Andrew continues: ‘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.’

Josef 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 99441950 or via Izola Bank to IBAN: MT48IZOL66110000000001001000001 BIC: IZOL MTMT

Account Name: Cycle for Victory Kitchen

Watch Josef in action.

Times of Malta 


Izola Bank plc

Izola Bank initially gained a license as a credit institution in Malta in 1994. Over the years Izola Bank has expanded its online activities to serve an increasing business and personal banking customer base in Malta and Belgium in the areas of corporate lending, factoring and personal savings. Amidst rapid change in the banking sector, Izola Bank has gained a firm reputation for delivering a reliable and efficient service and for adding lasting value for its customers. The Bank is wholly owned by the Van Marcke Group, a family run enterprise which was founded in 1929. Currently headed by CEO Caroline Van Marcke, the company has over 1600 employees and is active in Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Malta and the USA. Van Marcke is the Belgian market leader in the specialised distribution of plumbing, sanitary ware, and heating solutions.

Victory Kitchen

Victory Kitchen is a food charity operating through a network of local restaurants, social workers, and logistics companies who joined forces to create a sustainable and long-term plan of delivering food to those families hit hardest by the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond. Currently feeding 1,730 per week and aiming to expand and increase distribution further in the coming months.

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