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Citizens Bank Foundation delivers $50,000 to build a more sustainable Buffalo

Initiative provides grants for green housing, neighborhood building and access to healthy food on Buffalo’s West Side

Buffalo, N.Y. (November 15, 2012) – The Citizens Bank Foundation announced today that it has donated $50,000 to three community partners serving the West Side of Buffalo for affordable green housing, neighborhood building and access to healthy food in low-income neighborhoods.

"Building sustainable communities that provide access to affordable healthy food and green housing will help to stimulate the economy in Buffalo while providing nutritious food options to local residents," said James P. Gaspo, president of Citizens Bank and RBS Citizens, New York. "We are committed to contributing to the health of our local communities and this support will provide greener, safer, healthier and stronger places for citizens to live."

The Citizens Bank Foundation provided grants to the following organizations:

  • Local Initiatives Support Corporation: $25,000 grant to The Building Sustainable Communities Initiative, which focuses on five strategic goals: expanding investment in housing and other real estate, increasing family income and wealth, stimulating economic development, improving access to quality education, and supporting healthy environments and lifestyles.
  • People United for Sustainable Housing (PUSH): $20,000 grant to support its Green Development Zone, which combines green affordable housing, cutting-edge renewable energy investments, green-jobs training, sustainable landscaping on vacant land and urban agriculture in a 20-block area on Buffalo's West Side.
  • Massachusetts Avenue Project, Inc. (MAP): $5,000 grant to The Growing Green project that demonstrates sustainable urban growing techniques through aquaponics, provides low-income youth with meaningful work, and increases access to healthy, affordable food in low-income neighborhoods. Through hands-on activities at MAP’s urban farms, kitchens, farmers markets and Mobile Mart sites, youth gain knowledge about nutrition, sustainability, and growing, preparing and marketing food.

"We are extremely happy to have Citizens Bank Foundation’s continued financial support and participation in the LISC Building Sustainable Communities (BSC) initiative," said Michael Clarke, Executive Director of Buffalo LISC. "Our work is not just about housing. It includes an emphasis on reuse of vacant land, revitalization of neighborhood commercial areas, providing access to healthy foods, job training and "green" rehabilitation projects. In addition, Citizen’s recognition and support of two of our most innovative and committed local partners, PUSH and MAP, is especially noteworthy. We look forward to continuing to improve the lives of the residents of Buffalo’s West Side, and to doing it with the help of Citizens Bank."

"Through our Growing Green Urban Agriculture Program the Massachusetts Avenue Project has created over 450 jobs for young people and improved healthy food access to thousands of community members," said Diane Picard, Executive Director of Massachusetts Avenue Project. "We are grateful for the support that Citizens Bank has given us and its understanding that access to healthy food and good jobs for young people create the cornerstone of a healthy community."

About the Citizens Bank Foundation
Citizens Bank Foundation is a subsidiary of the Citizens Charitable Foundation, which is a charitable contributions vehicle of RBS Citizens Financial Group, Inc., RBS Citizens, N.A. and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. The foundation’s support is focused on human services, affordable housing and economic development. RBSCFG’s website is citizensbank.com.