Fifth Third recently announced that it provided over 1 million meals in May to fight hunger during its annual “Feeding Our Communities” initiative. The month-long effort included employee and customer donations, canned goods drives and employee volunteer activities. This achievement represents the first time the Bank has topped the million-meal mark.
According to No Kid Hungry, 48.8 million Americans—including 13 million children— live in households that lack the means to get enough nutritious food on a regular basis. As a result, they struggle with hunger at some time during the year. Food insecure families, defined as those who have limited or uncertain availability of nutritionally adequate and safe food, exist in 17.2 million households in America, 3.9 million of them with children.
Facts like these propel the Bank to make a difference in the communities that it serves.
“Fifth Third’s Feeding Our Communities initiative allowed our employees, customers and partners to join together in a shared commitment to improve lives,” said Brian Lamb, executive vice president and chief corporate social responsibility and reputation officer. “The Bank realizes that hunger is a far-reaching problem that affects people throughout society, especially children. By addressing the most basic needs of our neighbors, we are demonstrating our dedication to continue Fifth Third’s legacy of caring for the community.”
In Chicago, employees spent 484 hours volunteering at area food banks and shelters, where their efforts provided over 20,000 meals to those in need. Organizations that benefitted included the Greater Chicago Food Depository, Heartland Alliance, Northern Illinois Food Bank, Food Bank of Northwest Indiana, Deborah’s Place, La Casa Norte, United Way, Mothers & Children Nutrition Warehouse, Lakeview Pantry and the Salvation Army.
Fifth Third partnered with more than 65 organizations across its 10-state footprint to provide employee volunteer opportunities in May. Each region identified needs in their local communities and designed volunteer efforts to support. Some examples include:
- West Michigan employees spent nearly 170 hours volunteering at Meals on Wheels of Western Michigan, Kids’ Food Basket, Father Fred Pantry, Ministry with Community and Community Action House generating over 14,000 meals. Activities ranged from making meals for homebound seniors at the Father Fred Pantry to packing 4000 sack suppers for hungry kids at Kids’ Food Basket. Additionally, the bank made a $30,000 donation to become a Kids’ Food Basket Champion for Children, which will result in providing 180,000 meals for kids who need them most.
- Indiana employees hosted a state-wide pasta drive, resulting in the equivalent of 7,000 meals. They also volunteered at Flanner House, where employees planted spring gardens on the 2.5 acre Flanner Farm, which was created to provide healthy, affordable and culturally appropriate produce in an area of the state that has been designated a food desert. Second Helpings Food Bank was another volunteer site, where employees prepared 4,000 meals for greater Indianapolis’ food-insecure community members. In Evansville, a group of employee volunteers joined Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke to pack food backpacks, resulting in 9,222 meals for low-income children to take home on the weekends.
- Georgia employees volunteered 165 hours at the Atlanta Community Food Bank’s Community Garden and Sorting Center clearing, planting and sorting food. In Augusta, the team sorted and served food at the Golden Harvest Food Bank and Masters’ Soup Kitchen. In total, efforts in Georgia translated to over 11,000 meals.
The Bank kicked off its donation activities during the first week of May in honor of Fifth Third Day, or 5/3 on the calendar. For more than 25 years, Fifth Third has used this special date to recognize the contribution of its employees, to thank its valued customers and to support the community. Over the last six years, in honor of Fifth Third Day, the Bank has provided more than 4 million meals across the Midwest and Southeast as a way to fight hunger.
The Bank’s Feeding Our Communities initiative aligns well with other work Fifth Third is doing to improve lives. For more on Fifth Third’s commitment to the community, including details on the Bank’s Community Commitment, visit 53.com/commitment or read the first-year results report.