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Webster helps feed the hungry

(1/8/10) — Webster Bank gave more than $169,000 to help feed the hungry in the fourth quarter of 2009. And in December, its employees completed their annual “We Can Make a Difference” food drive, collecting six tons of donated items.


“Helping meet the basic needs of those in our community is a priority of Webster’s Community Affairs program,” said Kathy Luria, vice president, community affairs. “So when the food banks and soup kitchens are in need, we find a way to respond. With unemployment remaining high across our four-state market area, and food pantries everywhere reporting increased demand, our neighbors need help now more than ever.”


More than 50 organizations that feed the hungry in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New York received donations from Webster in the fourth quarter, from local food pantries and shelters to soup kitchens to statewide food banks.


The “We Can Make a Difference” food drive, which collected donations at Webster branches and offices, lasted five weeks, wrapping up just before Christmas.


At Webster’s Contact Center in Wallingford, Conn., employees filled a truck with collected donations (from left to right in photo are employees Bill Bowker, Gina Brennan, Ricardo Vidal, Mike DiGioia, Brian Viscuso, Shaun McGraw and Kevin Overgaard). At Webster’s Resource Center in New Britain, Conn., 58 bags of food were collected and delivered to the Salvation Army in New Britain — and not a moment too soon. “The shelter ran out of food the day before, so our timing was perfect,” said Nancy Matos, bank operations manager.


A Hamden, Conn., branch reported collecting the most items ever during this year’s drive. They were delivered to the M.L. Keefe Community Center’s food bank in Hamden. “They were so happy to get it all,” said branch Manager Nancy Colavolpe. “There were people already waiting for the food. It is hard to believe that in this country so many are in need.”