PHILADELPHIA -- The COVID-19 pandemic has proven that the need for hunger relief is more urgent than ever -- and that’s why Citizens Bank, Philabundance, and the Philadelphia Phillies today announced they’re teaming up to host a Phans Feeding Families Virtual Food Drive.
Citizens Bank Mid-Atlantic President Daniel K. Fitzpatrick kicked off the food drive with a $40,000 contribution from the bank, which will provide up to 80,000 meals to individuals and families in desperate need. Members of the community can join the effort by visiting philabundance.org/phans-feeding-families and donating now through June 1.
This is the first time in the 10-year history of the Phans Feeding Families Hunger Relief Program that a Virtual Food Drive will be held to help feed families in need. In years past, fans have supported the cause on Phans Feeding Families Day, held during a Phillies game at Citizens Bank Park. Now, they can virtually donate Philabundance’s most-needed food items, such as rice, peanut butter, or vegetables. Supporters can also choose to donate from as little as a dollar to gifts of $1,000 or more. The goal is to raise $75,000 for this effort.
“Since 2011, Citizens Bank and the Phillies have helped Philabundance fight hunger across the Delaware Valley through the Phans Feeding Families campaign,” explained Sara Hertz, Philabundance Chief Development Officer. “With the COVID-19 pandemic increasing hunger across the region, we are grateful for the continued support from Citizens Bank and the Phillies during these difficult times.”
Philabundance has long played a critical role in distributing meals to those throughout the region who struggle with hunger and access to food. Prior to COVID-19, approximately 700,000 people across the nonprofit’s nine-county service area went to bed at night not knowing where their next meal would come from. That number has rapidly increased as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are proud to support Philabundance as they work tirelessly to feed the many families in our community who are facing heightened food insecurity as a result of this crisis,” said Daniel K. Fitzpatrick, President of Citizens Bank, Mid-Atlantic Region. “We are calling for our neighbors to show their support from home by donating to this critical cause.”
Phillies All-Star and Phans Ambassador, Aaron Nola, has also stepped up to the plate to help with the effort. He is featured in two public service announcements to support the cause.
“With the COVID-19 crisis, families are struggling more than ever to put food on their table,” said Nola. “It’s important we do all that we can to help those who need it most. I encourage our fans to join the Phillies, Citizens Bank and Philabundance and be a part of our Phans Feeding Families Virtual Food Drive, as no one should go to bed hungry.”
In addition to the Phillies and Citizens Bank, Aramark, The GIANT Company, Goya Foods, Hatfield Quality Meats, SEPTA and Tri-State Toyota Dealers are supporting Philabundance as partners in the 2020 campaign.
“The need for food is at an all-time high,” said Phillies Executive Vice President David Buck. “In the Philadelphia area, one of every five of our neighbors has no idea where their next meal will come from – and it’s something we need to change. With the Phans Feeding Families Virtual Food Drive, we hope to make a difference. We thank our fans, partners and Aaron Nola for joining us in this important initiative.”
Since Phans Feeding Families began in 2011, the program has raised more than $500,000. To date, with fan support of funds and food, more than 1 million meals have been provided to families in need.