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Citizens Bank Foundation makes lead contribution to the New Hampshire Food Bank's Community Campaign with a $100,000 grant and volunteer support

Gift will support the Recipe for Success Job Training Kitchen & Program

Manchester, N.H. (December 6, 2010) - The New Hampshire Food Bank has announced that the Citizens Bank Foundation has donated a $100,000 grant to the Food Bank’s community campaign. Cathy Schmidt, President of Citizens Bank New Hampshire, is co-chairing the campaign.    

This leadership grant of $100,000 from the Citizens Foundation will support the Recipe for Success job training kitchen, where students who are unemployed or underemployed gain valuable work skills to earn a living wage. Through the eight-week culinary job training program, adult students learn the ins and outs of working in a busy commercial kitchen as they prepare nearly 2,000 hot meals each week for Food Bank agencies. These meals go on to feed the hungry in New Hampshire, and students gain classroom knowledge and hands-on experience.

 “We are so grateful for Citizens Bank’s involvement,” said Melanie Gosselin, Executive Director of the Food Bank. “From Cathy Schmidt’s leadership, to the ongoing volunteer work provided by Citizens’ associates, to the generous $100,000 grant from the Foundation – Citizens Bank is truly committed to helping those who are suffering from hunger.”

According to Gosselin, the Recipe for Success culinary training program is poised for growth thanks to the donation from Citizens and the Food Bank’s new home on East Industrial Park Drive. The expanded culinary training kitchen provides twice the space of the previous location, accommodating more specialized equipment and larger class sizes.

“On behalf of my colleagues and the Citizens Bank Foundation, we are proud to take a leadership role in this campaign, said Cathy Schmidt.  “The New Hampshire Food Bank’s innovative Recipe for Success program will continue helping the unemployed and underemployed gain valuable job skills, while preparing nutritious food for local programs like the Boys and Girls Club. It’s taking a great concept full-circle so that everybody – even the students taking part in the program – are working to benefit the Manchester community.”

The goal of the statewide community campaign is to fund the purchase and renovation of the Food Bank’s new center of operations. Much more than a warehouse, the Food Bank’s new location at 700 East Industrial Park Drive in Manchester allows the program to focus on direct service, innovative programs, and solutions to address hunger at its root causes. The campaign will run through 2011. For further information, contact Lisa Merrill-Burzak, vice president of development at New Hampshire Catholic Charities, at (603) 669-3030, Ext. 240.

About 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 New Hampshire Food Bank
The New Hampshire Food Bank, a program of New Hampshire Catholic Charities, has been working to relieve hunger in the Granite State since 1984. As the state’s only food bank, the New Hampshire Food Bank efficiently procures and distributes 6 million pounds of emergency food to needy people through more than 400 nonprofit registered agencies. Agencies include food pantries, neighborhood centers, low-income housing sites, senior nutrition centers, family crisis centers, hospices, soup kitchens, emergency shelters, after school programs, and day care centers.