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Leading NYC Financial Banks Join Forces to Help City's 1.5 Million Hungry


New York, NY (November 7, 2002) — The city's leading retail and investment banks, among other corporations, have joined forces with the Food Bank For New York City to help the ever-rising numbers of people turning to the city's emergency food assistance programs. The inaugural month-long, citywide NYC Bank-to-Bank Partnership canned food drive kicks off today with the support of Citigroup, Fleet, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Deutsche Bank, HVB Group and United Parcel Service (UPS). This is the first time that the city's banking industry has come together to collectively dedicate resources and manpower to ending hunger. The Partnership's goal is to collect half a million pounds of food - over 400,000 meals - for the city's needy families and individuals.

Throughout November 2002, the NYC Bank-to-Bank Partnership enables banks — and their customers — to support and give back to their local communities. Over 300 bank branches throughout the five boroughs will be participating in the citywide Partnership to help raise awareness around the 1.5 million people in New York City who are turning to soup kitchens, food pantries and shelters to avoid going hungry. More than 100 bank branches will have onsite food drop-off bins. The Food Bank For New York City is the primary supplier of food for more than 1,000 nonprofit community food assistance programs throughout the five boroughs.

"The NYC Bank-to-Bank Partnership comes at a crucial time for our network of community food programs," reports Lucy Cabrera, Ph.D., President and CEO of the Food Bank For New York City. "Our food donations have remained relatively flat during a time when neighborhood soup kitchens and food pantries have increasing numbers of families, working poor and elderly coming to their programs for food."

Today, one in five people in New York City turns to emergency food assistance programs — including soup kitchens, food pantries and shelters. A recent study completed by the Food Bank revealed that 80 percent of soup kitchens and 84 percent of food pantries reported an increased demand for food assistance this year. As a result of this surge, 20 percent of these emergency food programs reported being more likely to turn people away.

All partners in the NYC Bank-to-Bank Partnership canned food drive have made a major corporate commitment to helping the people in their communities. In addition to funding, each partner has dedicated a multitude of resources and manpower to ensure the campaign's success.

Citigroup is enlisting the support of their 12,000 employees in the month-long canned food drive. Through signage and promotion materials at all 150+ financial centers, customers will learn how they can make a difference in the lives of the city's less fortunate.

All 54 Fleet bank branches have installed drop-off food bins throughout November to encourage banking customers to make a "different" kind of deposit this holiday season. In addition, Fleet will raise awareness of the hunger issue through their Times Square billboard, and Fleet's Fleet Works employees volunteers corps will help repack food during the Food Bank's Volunteer-a-Thon in December.

J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. has committed 50 branches to the effort with representation in all five boroughs. Employees from Deutsche Bank and HVB Group will be participating in the Food Bank's Volunteer-a-Thon to repack the collected food for city food programs. UPS has donated trucks and staff to pick up food from all bank branches throughout the Bronx.

"At Citigroup, we are committed to making every community where we have operations a better place to live and work because we are there," says Charles V. Raymond, President of the Citigroup Foundation. "We are very pleased to participate in the Food Bank's NYC Bank-to-Bank Partnership canned food drive. We know that this initiative will both strengthen this commitment, while also enlisting the active support of our employees who are eager to get involved in helping others in their local communities."

"Current statistics on demand for food at soup kitchens and food pantries are staggering. We commend the Food Bank For New York City for reaching out to those of us who have a unique combination of resources that can help the food collection process," says Rena DeSisto, Senior Vice President, Corporate Marketing & Communications at Fleet. "We're pleased to provide our branches as collection sites and are confident that the generosity of our customers and employees will make this drive a success."

"We are proud to support Food Bank For New York City, Food For Survival," reports John M. Imperiale, Senior Vice President, Community Relations at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. "Our mission of strengthening the communities in which we do business is only a success when we partner with community groups that strive to serve the community with excellence."

To find out more about the NYC Bank-to-Bank Partnership, locate a participating neighborhood bank branch, and learn about which canned foods are most needed, visit the NYC Bank-to-Bank Partnership page. Following the month-long food collection at participating banks, employees from the banks and other corporations will volunteer in the Food Bank's Volunteer-a-Thon. Throughout December volunteers will repack food collected from holiday food drives across the five boroughs for the city's 700+ food pantries and 300+ soup kitchens. The volunteer effort will take place at the Food Bank's 95,000 square foot warehouse at Hunts Point in the Bronx.

The Food Bank For New York City was founded in 1983 to coordinate the procurement and distribution of food donations from manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers and government agencies to organizations providing free food to the hungry. A member of America's Second Harvest, the Food Bank is now the largest food bank and one of the largest distributors of free fresh produce in the country. The Food Bank provides the food for over 200,000 meals served each day by more than 1,000 nonprofit community food programs — including soup kitchens, food pantries, shelters, low-income day care centers, Kids Cafes, and senior, youth and rehabilitation centers — throughout the five boroughs of New York City. For more information, visit www.foodbanknyc.org.

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