ABOVE PHOTO: CITIZENS BANK VOLUNTEERS help out on the Philabundance assembly line by sorting and boxing donations to be distributed to the needy. (from left) Andy Gotlieb of Lower Merion and Alexa Gordon of Glen Mills work the bread line.
The Citizens Bank Foundation recently announced the donation of $25,000 to Philabundance, the area’s largest hunger relief agency, to help overcome a significant drop in food donations.
The bank’s foundation responded to a call for help from Philabundance and a recent newspaper advertisement in the Philadelphia Inquirer (please italicize this). According to Philabundance, food donations are down 20 percent from last year and 38 percent from this time two years ago.
“This is a critical time in our area and a time of tremendous need for Philabundance and the agencies it serves”, said Daniel K. Fitzpatrick, Citizens Bank’s President and CEO for Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware . “Collecting food and resources is a challenge throughout the year, but it reaches critical levels during the summer.
In addition, the need is growing especially among children because school meals are not available. The Citizens Bank Foundation has worked with Philabundance many times in the past and we’re pleased to step up once again to help children and families in need.”
While food and financial donations are dropping, the need for food is growing especially in suburban areas. More than 900,000 low-income residents in the area are at risk for chronic hunger and malnutrition. Because Philabundance can make a meal for less than 30 cents, the Citizens Bank Foundation $25,000 grant translates into more than 83,000 meals this summer.
“Many children go hungry during the summer, so we are grateful for the donation from the Citizens Bank Foundation,” said Philabundance President and Executive Director Bill Clark. “With the economy continuing to struggle, many families are finding it difficult to put food on the table. The Citizens Bank Foundation’s contribution will make a difference to thousands of people throughout the region.”
Philadelphia-area companies and residents are encouraged to join the Citizens Bank Foundation in assisting Philabundance by organizing a food drive or by contributing money directly to Philabundance. For more information on participating, go to www.philabundance.org.