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Citizens Bank Foundation delivers $45,000 to build a more sustainable Buffalo

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

Buffalo, N.Y. (December 16, 2013)– The Citizens Bank Foundation announced today that it has donated $45,000 to three community partners serving the West Side of Buffalo for job training in affordable green housing, neighborhood building and access to healthy food in low-income neighborhoods. The grants are part of the Foundation’s “Citizens Helping Citizens Strengthen Communities” initiative.

“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 expanding investment in housing and other real estate, increasing family income and wealth, stimulating economic development, improving access to quality education, supporting healthy environments and lifestyles, and engaging community stakeholders to empower neighborhood residents.
  • People United for Sustainable Housing (PUSH):: $15,000 grant to support the Green Jobs Training program in its Green Development Zone, a 25-block area on the West Side that combines green affordable housing, cutting-edge renewable energy investments, sustainable landscaping on vacant land and urban agriculture. The job training program’s objective is to create a pipeline of qualified workers and contractors for work in the weatherization and green infrastructure sectors.
  • 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.”

Citizens Helping Citizens Strengthen Communities is part of the bank’s broader Citizens Helping Citizens program addressing five key areas: hunger, housing, economic development, financial education and volunteerism. Get more information about Citizens Bank’s community initiatives online at www.citizensbank.com/community

About the Citizens Helpin Citizens
Grounded in the belief that a good bank gives back to its community and to the people who live there, Citizens Helping Citizens is a program embracing the community goals of RBS Citizens Financial Group, Inc. – the commercial bank holding company serving consumer and small business customers as Citizens Bank and Charter One and commercial banking customers as RBS Citizens. The Citizens Helping Citizens program is composed of five key initiatives supported directly by RBSCFG and its nonprofit charitable foundations, the Citizens Charitable Foundation, the Citizens Bank Foundation and the Charter One Foundation: Citizens Helping Citizens Fight Hunger, Citizens Helping Citizens Provide Shelter, Citizens Helping Citizens Strengthen Communities (economic development), Citizens Helping Citizens Teach Money Management (financial education) and Citizens Helping Citizens Give (volunteerism and colleague charitable donations). Across all of these initiatives, Citizens Helping Citizens strives to enhance quality of life and economic vitality in local communities



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