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Citizens Bank Foundation gives a $15,000 donation to Long Island Cares Food Program

Hauppauge, N.Y. (January 10, 2011) - In an effort to ensure Long Island school children in need receive nutritious food at home, the Citizens Bank Charitable Foundation today announced the grant of $15,000 to the Long Island Cares’ “Pack it Up for Kids” children’s food program.

The “Pack it Up for Kids” program provides healthy, easy-to-prepare food to school children in low- and moderate-income families who may be at risk of hunger in their place of residence when school is not in session, such as over the weekend and during school vacations. The program, which promotes better nutrition among at-risk children in an effort to decrease illness and absence from school, is an initiative of the Long Island Cares, Inc. Harry Chapin Food Bank.

“At Citizens Bank, we place a premium on serving the communities in which we live and work by partnering with organizations that promote good citizenship. The ‘Pack it Up for Kids’ program serves a vital purpose for growing children throughout Long Island,” said James P. Gaspo, president, Citizens Bank, New York. “Through this donation, we hope to feed children in need to help keep kids healthy and in the classroom.”

Through the program, packs filled with nonperishable, nutritious food items are discreetly distributed to children identified as being at need by participating school districts. The packs, which are placed in the child’s own backpack or school bag, include “kid-friendly” items such as individual containers of juice, fruits, applesauce, shelf-stable milk, cereal, crackers, granola bars, pouches of tuna, cans of vegetables, soup, pasta, and small microwaveable items such as macaroni and cheese. Packs also include toiletries such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, and shampoo.

“Many children rely on free or reduced-price meals at breakfast and lunch to receive the sustenance they need,” said Paule Pachter, executive director, Long Island Cares. “This generous donation from Citizens Bank will go a long way in our efforts to battle hunger on Long Island. We are grateful to have Citizens Bank as such a valued community partner.”

Citizens Bank operates more than two dozen branches located in Stop & Shop Supermarkets throughout Long Island. 

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.

About Long Island Cares, Inc.

Long Island Cares, Inc. - The Harry Chapin Food Bank is Long Island's first food bank. Founded in 1980 by the late singer, songwriter and social activist Harry Chapin, Long Island Cares brings together all available resources for the benefit of the hungry on Long Island, provides emergency food where and when it is needed, and sponsors a network of community-based programs and services that help families achieve self-sufficiency.  Long Island Cares is the region’s premier food bank and hunger assistance organization. Harry’s legacy of caring for the hungry is continued today by his wife and partner Sandy Chapin, a dedicated Board of Directors and talented staff working out of their 35,000 square foot warehouse and administrative offices in Hauppauge and their storefront service center in Freeport. Long Island Cares is a member agency of the Food Bank Association of New York State and Feeding America.