CINCINNATI—Fifth Third Bank’s "Feeding Our Communities" initiative, held each year in May, this year provided more than 8.4 million meals to fight hunger across its footprint. The total far exceeded the 5.3 million-meals goal the company set for its 2022 effort.
The meals were provided as part of company donations, nearly 250 volunteer activities where employees volunteered more than 5,100 hours of service, and shield of recognition sales. The activities kicked off on the bank’s adopted special day, Fifth Third Day – May 3 or 5/3 on the calendar.
"We’re extremely proud of our employees and customers for working together for the united purpose of serving our communities and to join the fight against hunger," said Melissa Stevens, chief digital officer, head of digital and marketing and Fifth Third Day champion. "After hosting only virtual volunteer activities for the last two years, it was exciting for all of us to be able to work together, in person, toward this important cause."
As part of its efforts, the Bank collaborated with Feeding America®, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization. Fifth Third employees volunteered and donated food to Feeding America’s network of 200 food banks across the country. In 2021, according to Feeding America, 53 million Americans turned to food banks and community programs for support.
"We prioritize taking care of our communities," said Kala Gibson, chief corporate responsibility officer at Fifth Third. "By providing food to various hunger-focused organizations, we are fulfilling one of the basic needs that some families may have, and we are helping to alleviate the stress that comes along with people being concerned about where their next meal is going to come from."
Since 1991, Fifth Third has used Fifth Third Day to recognize the contribution of its employees, to thank its valued customers and to support the community. Beginning in 2012, Fifth Third has worked to eradicate hunger through its efforts to feed our communities. This Bank initiative is part of Fifth Third’s environmental, social and governance strategy aligned to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal No. 2, Zero Hunger. For more information, see un.org/sustainabledevelopment/sustainable-development-goals.
A key component of this year’s Feeding Our Communities activities was several marquee events May 3 that featured celebrity athletes. For example, Cincinnati Bengal Joe Mixon and the Bengals mascot, Who Dey, helped pack lunches for Cincinnati’s Freestore Foodbank. More than 150 employees volunteered their time, and a total of 3,600 meals were provided through their endeavors. Through the month, the region’s efforts equate to providing more than 800,000 meals to feed the hungry. "We are grateful for the generous support of companies like Fifth Third Bank as we work together to ensure stability and self-reliance for those who are food-insecure," said Kurt Reiber, CEO of the Freestore Foodbank.
In North Carolina, NASCAR driver Chris Buescher and his pit crew helped Fifth Third employees pack more than 1,300 bags of food for children and 450 senior nutrition boxes for Second Harvest of Metrolina. Their volunteer efforts helped save Second Harvest $6 million in labor costs, which will allow the organization to redirect resources to provide more meals in the community. Through May, Fifth Third provided more than 1.2 million meals to organizations across the state that provide hunger solutions.
Additional events across Fifth Third’s regions included:
- In Chicago, Patrick Kane, alternate captain of the Chicago Blackhawks, made a special guest appearance and assisted more than 270 employee volunteers as they assembled 4,000 meal kits for Blessings in a Backpack. The employees also wrote more than 10,000 encouraging notes to be distributed with the meals. In total, employees donated nearly 850 hours, and the region donated more than 976,000 meals during May.
- In Eastern Michigan, Cincinnati Bengal Khalid Kareem, who graduated from high school in Farmington, Michigan, volunteered with Fifth Third employees as they filled trunks with prepackaged groceries and provided 7,300 pounds of food. Employee volunteers donated nearly 225 hours during the month. More than 613,000 meals were provided in the region.
- The marquee event in North Florida benefitted Feeding Tampa Bay. Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Will Gholston and members of the Bucs’ staff joined Fifth Third employees as they packed lunches. Through May, employees donated nearly 530 hours and nearly 330,000 meals in the region.
- In Tennessee, Nashville Soccer Club player Dax McCarty and the team’s mascot, Tempo, joined the fun as employees packed meals for Conexion America’s Mobile Food Pantry and Second Harvest Food Bank. The region’s employees donated more than 120 hours for the Feeding Our Communities efforts. More than 241,000 meals were donated in the region.
For more on Fifth Third’s environmental, social and governance efforts, read our ESG report.
About Fifth Third
Fifth Third Bancorp is a diversified financial services company headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio, and the indirect parent company of Fifth Third Bank, National Association, a federally chartered institution. As of March 31, 2022, the Company had $211 billion in assets and operates 1,079 full-service Banking Centers, and 2,201 Fifth Third branded ATMs in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Florida, Tennessee, West Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. In total, Fifth Third provides its customers with access to approximately 54,000 fee-free ATMs across the United States. Fifth Third operates four main businesses: Commercial Banking, Branch Banking, Consumer Lending, and Wealth & Asset Management. Fifth Third is among the largest money managers in the Midwest and, as of March 31, 2022, had $549 billion in assets under care, of which it managed $61 billion for individuals, corporations and not-for-profit organizations through its Trust and Registered Investment Advisory businesses. Investor information and press releases can be viewed at www.53.com. Fifth Third’s common stock is traded on the NASDAQ® Global Select Market under the symbol "FITB."