Michael Hewitt, President and CEO of bankHometown, the 2017 Neighbors helping Neighbors Campaign has resulted in total donations of $25,000.
This is the 14th year that bankHometown has challenged local residents and businesses to help support local food pantries. It’s a way for the bank and its customers to make a real difference in the lives of local residents.
Customers of the bank and community members are invited to be a “Hometown Hero” for a $1 donation or a “Hometown Superhero” for a $5 donation. In addition to the in-branch fund drive, bankHometown also sends a letter to business customers inviting their contributions. bankHometown then matches all of the donations dollar for dollar and splits the funds among food pantries that serve the areas surrounding each of its thirteen offices in Massachusetts and Connecticut.
This year’s Neighbors Helping Neighbors donations benefit the Oxford Ecumenical Food Shelf at the Oxford Community Center; Food Share, a Southbridge-based program that serves residents of Sturbridge, Charlton and Southbridge; the St. Vincent de Paul Food Pantry at Sacred Heart Church in Webster; the Athol Salvation Army Food Pantry; CARE Food Pantry in Clinton, the Auburn Youth and Family Services, Inc. Food Pantry and Ginny’s Helping Hand in Leominster. The Connecticut pantries being served this year are Daily Bread in Putnam; Friends of Assisi in Killingly and Thompson Ecumenical Empowerment Group (TEEG) in Thompson.
At the check presentation each organization shared a bit about their particular program and how they are striving to feed the hungry in their communities. John Kneeland of the Ecumenical Food Shelf in Oxford stated that they “are able to leverage each $1.00 raised to buy the equivalent of about $4.00 worth of food”.
Each representative also shared how the generous donations raised collectively from our customers, employees, and the bank, would positively impact their programs and why it means so much that the local communities stepped forward to help. Karen Osbrey of The Daily Bread located in Putnam, CT shared that “IHSP continues to respond to the ever-changing economic challenges in northeast Connecticut, but we can’t accomplish this alone. That is why we are so grateful for our many community partners, like bankHometown.” Collectively, the recipients provide meals to thousands of individuals and families each month.
Lt. Michael Buzzard of the Athol Salvation Army shared “in addition to the donation received today, I am also so appreciative of the support that bankHometown employees provide throughout the year whether it is spending time on committee work, fundraisers or other support of our programs”.
Michael D. Hewitt, President and CEO of bankHometown added that branch employee involvement in the community “is yet another example of Neighbors Helping Neighbors.”
To date, more than $142,500.00 has been distributed through this program.