YOUNGSTOWN - As part of Charter One's annual initiative, ''Carving Out Hunger,'' which raises awareness of hunger issues and provides holiday meals to those in need in the tri-county area, a $10,000 donation was made this week to the Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley.
Becky Miller, resource development manager at the Second Harvest Food Bank, said the donation will provide 6,907 meals, with grants to five food banks in Ohio providing more than 137,000 meals statewide this holiday season.
Several Charter One volunteers helped sort and repack food at the food bank for distribution.
Miller said thousands of local residents will be able to enjoy a healthy holiday meal this season due to the donation, which will provide 2,035 chickens for Thanksgiving dinner to people in need.
"We are proud to join our friends at the Second Harvest Food Bank of the Mahoning Valley for Charter One's Carving Out Hunger program to ensure thousands of hungry people have nutritious meals for the holidays," said Ken Marblestone, president of Charter One and RBS Citizens in Ohio. "We want to make the holiday season enjoyable for everyone, especially our neighbors who are working hard to provide for their families but need a little extra help this time of year."
"Charter One is a good and longtime friend of the Food Bank," said Mike Iberis, executive director. "We especially appreciate their financial and volunteer support this time of year when need is so great."
Iberis said in the first six months of 2012, there was an 18 percent increase in the number of people seeking assistance in the tri-county area compared to the same time last year.
Miller said the donation is part of a $105,000 commitment to food banks across Ohio this year. The Charter One Foundation has donated more than $800,000 in the past eight years for holiday food programs. In addition, Charter One will provide more than 150 volunteer hours and $105,000 in grants to food banks statewide.