MARIETTA, Ohio — Peoples Bank customers, vendors and employees recently raised $54,730 for local food banks in Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky.
“One hundred percent of the funds raised in each community will go back to the community where it came from,” said Chuck Sulerzyski, Peoples Bank president and chief executive officer. “The people who benefit from this effort are our neighbors and friends.”
The initiative was a result of the bank’s ongoing involvement with the Hunger Solutions Mid-Ohio Valley Task Force. Since 2014, bank employees, customers and vendors have raised more than $156,300.
“We challenged our employees, vendors and customers to make a difference. Everyone participated in some way — by hosting bake sales, donating funds, organizing competitions and silent auctions, and talking to our customers and vendors about the importance of local food banks,” Sulerzyski said. “Without the collective support of everyone working together, this couldn’t have happened. We are overwhelmed by everyone’s passion and commitment to this cause.”
The USDA completes an annual study on food insecurity, which is the number of individuals who do not always have enough food — especially nutritionally adequate food — for an active, healthy life for all household members. Sulerzyski indicated the USDA’s 2014 study found that more than 17 percent of U.S. households were food insecure and 3.7 million households with children were unable at times during the year to provide adequate nutritious food for their children.
“Hunger among children has a major impact not only on health care costs later in life, but also educational achievement, worker productivity and eventually the ability of the region and nation to compete in a global economy,” Sulerzyski said.
Hunger Solutions Mid-Ohio Valley Task Force is a community-based, collaborative plan to raise awareness and help eliminate hunger in the region formed by Peoples Bank, Marietta Memorial Hospital, Marietta College, and Bricker & Eckler Attorneys at Law. To learn more about the taskforce and ways you or your business can make a difference, visit http://hungersolutionsmov.com.