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Charter One makes $100,000 donation to Greater Chicago Food Depository's Food Rescue Program

Bank’s commitment to help fight hunger drives fourth annual summer “Making Music Matter” initiative

Chicago       (May 27, 2009) - Charter One announced today that its Charter One Foundation will donate $100,000 to the Greater Chicago Food Depository’s Food Rescue Program to kick off its summer-long “Making Music Matter” initiative at the Charter One Pavilion at Northerly Island. Now in its fifth year as a premier entertainment venue, the Charter One Pavilion is a 7,500-seat outdoor concert amphitheatre located along Chicago’s lakefront.

The bank’s support of the Food Rescue Program could not more timely. With an unprecedented increase in need reported by area food pantries and soup kitchens, the Food Depository’s Food Rescue Program is a vital component in helping to ensure the growing demand for meals is met by recovering thousands of pounds of food and putting it in the hands of those who need it.

“Charter One created its signature local community initiative, Making Music Matter, to leverage our sponsorship of the Charter One Pavilion for the benefit of the communities where we live and work. This summer, our goal is to help alleviate the problem of hunger in the Chicago area,” said Scott C. Swanson, President and CEO, Charter One, Illinois. “We’re asking everyone to join us in these efforts. Concert attendees may contribute in our tent at the Charter One Pavilion and customers and the community-at-large may visit a bank branch location to help Charter One and the Food Rescue Program feed our community’s hungry people.”

Charter One’s employee volunteers will partner with Food Depository volunteers to raise awareness and funds for the Food Depository throughout the summer at the Charter One Pavilion through an interactive tent with games, information on the Food Depository and the opportunity for concert-goers to make a contribution. Donations can also be made at more than 100 Charter One branch locations in Chicagoland. 

The Food Depository’s Food Rescue Program recovers prepared and perishable foods, such as meats, dairy products, baked goods and produce. Currently, six refrigerated Food Rescue trucks leave the Food Depository each morning to collect surplus food at retail grocery stores, restaurants, caterers and cafeterias. These donations are then delivered directly to pantries, soup kitchens and shelters for same-day distribution or meal preparation. Last year, the Food Rescue Program distributed more than 5.4 million pounds of nutritious food to those in need in Cook County.

Through its Making Music Matter initiative, Charter One will fund a new refrigerated Food Rescue truck, cold storage units, and other necessities required to increase capacity for participating food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters in Cook County. With this support, an additional 500,000 pounds of food per year will be rescued, which translates roughly to 375,000 meals distributed at 16 local food pantries and agencies.

"The Food Rescue Program distributes fresh, nutritious perishable food that would otherwise go to waste to those who need it most. We are thrilled that Charter One will help us to recover more to reach the growing number of people in need," said Kate Maehr, executive director of the Greater Chicago Food Depository. "Making Music Matter will have a direct impact on our community's less fortunate. We're excited that Charter One Pavilion patrons, bank customers and the public will help us in this important endeavor."

This is the fourth consecutive year that Charter One’s Making Music Matter initiative has raised money for nonprofit organizations working to improve the lives of Chicago’s neediest. Since its inception, Making Music Matter has helped generate more than $400,000 for charitable and nonprofit organizations throughout the Chicago area.

Making Music Matter launches in conjunction with the sold-out Nine Inch Nails concert on May 29 and continues at every Charter One Pavilion concert throughout the 2009 season. Other Making Music Matter concerts at the Charter One Pavilion at Northerly Island include:

• Nine Inch Nails, May 29
• Crosby, Stills and Nash, June 4
• 311 with Ziggy Marley, June 14
• O.A.R., June 18
• O.A.R., June 19
• The Offspring, June 20
• Jay-Z with Ciara, July 7
• Styx, REO Speedwagon and 38 Special, July 10
• Judas Priest and Whitesnake, July 19
• Incubus, July 21
• The O’Jays, July 24
• Jason Mraz, Aug. 13
• Heaven and Hell, Aug. 19
• Widespread Panic with The Allman Brothers Band, Sept. 1
• The Allman Brothers Band with Widespread Panic, Sept. 2

Additional performances will be added throughout the summer season.

About Charter One

Charter One is a division of RBS Citizens, N.A., operating in Illinois, Michigan and Ohio. It has approximately 360 branches and 615 ATMs. It has 102 branches and 322 ATMs in Illinois. 

RBS Citizens, N.A. is a subsidiary of Citizens Financial Group, Inc., a $167 billion commercial bank holding company headquartered in Providence, R.I. CFG’s 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. CFG has non-branch retail and commercial offices in about 40 states. It is one of the 10 largest commercial banking companies in the United States ranked by assets. CFG is owned by RBS (The Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc). 
About the Greater Chicago Food Depository

The Greater Chicago Food Depository, Chicago’s food bank, is a nonprofit food distribution and training center providing food for hungry people while striving to end hunger in our community. The Food Depository distributed donated and purchased food through a network of 600 pantries, soup kitchens and shelters to 500,000 adults and children in Cook County every year. Last year, the Food Depository distributed 46 million pounds of nonperishable food and fresh produce, dairy products and meat, the equivalent of 95,000 meals every day. The Food Depository’s programs and services for children, older adults, and the unemployed and underemployed address the root problems of hunger. For more information, log on to www.chicagofoodbank.org or call 773-247-FOOD.