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Citizens Bank Foundation provides $50,000 grant to New Hampshire Food Bank’s Mobile Food Pantry and Backpack Program

Manchester, N.H. – The New Hampshire Food Bank announced today that the Citizens Bank Foundation is providing a $50,000 grant to support its Mobile Food Pantry and Backpack Program.

"The Mobile Food Pantry program "drops" critical food resources to low-income children and adults living in all 10 New Hampshire counties, rural and urban, where access to food is limited," said Melanie Gosselin, executive director of the New Hampshire Food Bank. "Each drop provides food for approximately 200 people, with food totaling anywhere from 12 to 35 lbs. per person. This grant will enable us to coordinate a total of five drops this month and next for those in critical need."

The first Mobile Food Pantry drop took place today in Manchester in the parking lot of the Parish of the Transfiguration, at 30 Kelley Street. Governor John Lynch and volunteers from Citizens Bank and the Food Bank were on hand to help distribute the food. The other four drop locations will be in Nashua (January 28), Concord (January 21), Portsmouth (January 7) and Rochester (January 14).

In addition, the grant will also support the Backpack Program, which distributes food monthly during the school year to 815 elementary-age children enrolled in free or reduced-cost lunch programs. It provides children and families with food on weekends and school vacations, when they have no access to the school-based hunger relief programs. Backpacks contain simple step-by-step recipes, the food needed for the recipe, nutritional information and activities for the family.

"We are very proud to make this donation to the New Hampshire Food Bank to help provide critical food resources to people suffering from persistent hunger," said Joe Carelli, president of Citizens Bank New Hampshire. "These programs also help reduce the risk of health issues associated with hunger and poor nutrition, and enable low-income individuals to apply limited financial resources to other critical basic needs."

According to Gosselin, both programs provide "safety-net" access to food for low-income children and families.

"The effects of hunger and malnutrition are well documented," said Gosselin. "For adults, these include poor job performance, higher levels of stress and illness, and greater likelihood of accidents on the job and at home. Children without proper food or nutrition are less likely to do well in school, more likely to have poor physical development and socialization, and have a greater chance of dropping out of school. Our goal is to help reduce these risks by providing food support where and when it’s needed most."

Gosselin added, "The Mobile Food Pantry and Backpack programs are innovative responses to the basic human need of hunger relief, in that they reach out to bring food directly to people with limited local opportunities. Many low-income people struggling with chronic hunger also face challenges with transportation and have limited opportunities to travel to locations where food support may be available. We are extremely grateful for the support of Citizens Bank to help provide this basic human need."

About the New Hampshire Food Bank
The New Hampshire Food Bank, a service of New Hampshire Catholic Charities, has been working to relieve hunger in the Granite State since 1984. As the state’s only food bank, the New Hampshire Food Bank efficiently procures and distributes over 6.5 million pounds of food to needy people through more than 400 non-profit registered agencies. Agencies include food pantries, neighborhood centers, low-income housing sites, senior nutrition centers, family crisis centers, hospices, soup kitchens, emergency shelters, after school programs, and day care centers. For more information about the New Hampshire Food Bank please visit www.nhfoodbank.org

About the Citizens Bank Foundation
Citizens Bank Foundation is a subsidiary of the Citizens Charitable Foundation, which is a charitable contributions vehicle of Citizens Financial Group, Inc., RBS Citizens, N.A. and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. The foundation’s support is focused on housing, community development and basic human needs.