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Citizens Bank in Massachusetts pledges One Million Meals to 11 nonprofits

RBS Citizens Financial Group recognizes Hunger Action Month with pledge to provide 4.5 million meals to food banks in 2013

BOSTON (September 23, 2013) – Citizens Bank and the Citizens Bank Foundation today announced it is working with 11 of its community partners to provide more than One Million Meals to people who are in need throughout Massachusetts this year. To observe Hunger Action Month, RBS Citizens Financial Group (RBSCFG) today also announced its goal of providing 4.5 million meals to local food organizations across the bank’s footprint by year end. As part of Citizens Helping Citizens Fight Hunger, the bank’s program to help eradicate hunger in local communities served by Citizens Bank and Charter One, RBSCFG has provided more than three million meals to date.

Citizens Bank’s observance of Hunger Action Month comes as the US Department of Agriculture (UDSA) reports 11.4 percent of Massachusetts households are struggling with food insecurity (low or very low food security). That is up from 10 percent in 2007 and 6.4 percent in 2002. Nationally, 14.9 percent of Americans - or one in six - lives in a household that is at risk of hunger.

“When nonprofits, corporations and consumers work together, we can make a positive impact for the millions of people across America, and thousands here in Massachusetts who struggle with hunger and food insecurity,” said Jerry Sargent, President, Citizens Bank and RBS Citizens, Massachusetts. “Our One Million Meals pledge is part of our year-long Citizens Helping Citizens Fight Hunger effort, and follows a summer focus on hunger programs, as summer is a particularly challenging time for people who don’t have dependable access to nutritious meals – especially children who rely on school lunch programs during the school year.”

Through a series of 11 grants from the Citizens Bank Foundation that total $525,000, the partners – The Greater Boston Food Bank, Food Bank of Western Massachusetts, Women’s Lunch Place, Community Servings, Worcester County Food Bank, Merrimack Valley Food Bank, Project Bread, Boston Medical Center, Bay Cove Human Services, Family Pantry of Cape Cod and Food for Free – are providing emergency food and nutritious meals to children and families throughout Massachusetts.

“Citizens Bank is a model partner in our efforts to End Hunger Here,” said Catherine D’Amato, GBFB President and CEO. “We know that ending hunger will take time, money and food. The One Million Meals initiative has made a tremendous impact across Massachusetts. In addition, Citizens Bank has contributed volunteer time and hosted food drives. We are grateful for their commitment to ending hunger in our community.”

RBSCFG also encourages colleagues to volunteer with food organizations and other nonprofit partners through Citizens Helping Citizens Give, its program for colleague volunteerism and colleague donations. The company anticipates colleagues will have volunteered an additional 1,500 hours to food organizations by the end of 2013. To help food programs keep their shelves stocked this summer, RBSCFG colleagues donated food totaling nearly 4,200 meals during the company’s 19th annual Colleague Appreciation Week in June.

Hunger Action Month was first launched in 2012 by Feeding America, a network of more than 200 food banks and food rescue programs. Hunger Action Month helps raise awareness around hunger relief and encourages Americans to take action against hunger.

About Citizens Helping 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 comprises five key initiatives supported directly by RBSCFG and also by its nonprofit charitable foundations, the Citizens Charitable 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 charitable donations). Across all of these initiatives, Citizens Helping Citizens strives to enhance quality of life and economic vitality in local communities.

About Citizens Bank
Citizens Bank is a division of RBS Citizens, N.A., operating its seven-state branch network in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont. It has 252 branches and 753 ATMs in Massachusetts.

RBS Citizens, N.A., is a subsidiary of RBS Citizens Financial Group, Inc., a $118 billion commercial bank holding company. It is headquartered in Providence, R.I., and through its subsidiaries has approximately 1,400 branches, nearly 3,600 ATMs and nearly 19,000 colleagues. Its two bank subsidiaries are RBS Citizens, N.A., and Citizens Bank of Pennsylvania. They operate a 12-state branch network under the Citizens Bank brand in Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont; and the Charter One brand in Illinois, Michigan and Ohio. RBSCFG has non-branch retail and commercial offices in more than 30 states. RBSCFG is owned by RBS (the Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc). RBSCFG’s website is citizensbank.com.