Refrigerated box truck: Gift that will keep on giving for NH Food Bank

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Citizens Bank truck donation culminates NH Food Bank’s Nothing campaign, which raised more than $86,261 to date to help end hunger in New Hampshire.
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Pictured here from left to right, Thomas Blonski, President & CEO of Catholic Charities NH, Mel Gosselin of the Food Bank, with the keys to the new truck, Bruce Van Saun, Chairman & CEO of Citizens Financial Group, and Joseph Carelli, President of Citizens Bank NH & VT.

MANCHESTER, NH –  The Citizens Bank Foundation donated a brand new, 26-foot box truck on June 12 to the New Hampshire Food Bank, a program of Catholic Charities NH, at a special event concluding the Nothing campaign at Food Bank headquarters in Manchester. Along with receiving the heavy duty, refrigerated truck, which will have a profound impact on the Food Bank’s statewide food distribution capabilities, the NH Food Bank announced at the event today that this year’s Nothing campaign raised more than $86,261 to date to support the one in nine New Hampshire residents who do not know where their next meal is coming from.

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Joseph Carelli addresses the crowd during a special event at NH Food Bank headquarters. To his right is Mel Gosselin, NH Food Bank Executive Director, and Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas.

Bruce Van Saun, Chairman & CEO of Citizens Financial Group

The Citizens Bank Foundation was the sole underwriter of this year’s Nothing campaign, a groundbreaking, month-long effort to raise awareness and critical funds to support the more than 143,200 New Hampshire residents—including more than 42,170 children—who have nothing to eat. Bruce Van Saun, Chairman and CEO of Citizens Financial Group, took part in the event today with Joseph Carelli, President, Citizens Bank, New Hampshire and Vermont, NH Food Bank Executive Director Mel Gosselin, Citizens Bank employees, and local and state dignitaries. As part of the event, a team of Citizens Bank volunteers packed a mobile food pantry.

The new heavy-duty, refrigerated truck, which will be able to transport more than 10,000 pounds of food at a time, will have a significant impact on the Food Bank’s statewide distribution. With this new truck, the NH Food Bank will save considerable money on repairs and operations. The NH Food Bank, which does not receive any state or federal funding, currently has a fleet of four distribution vehicles that supply millions of pounds of food annually to more than 400 partner agencies, including food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters.

“Our partnership with the New Hampshire Food Bank is important to us because it allows us to have a direct impact on the community,” said Joe Carelli. “We are happy to continue this support with the unveiling of the new food truck, which will enable the Food Bank to meet its demand to distribute tens of thousands of pounds of food to people in need of hunger relief.”

New refrigerated box truck, gifted to the NH Food Bank by Citizens Bank.
New refrigerated box truck, gifted to the NH Food Bank by Citizens Bank.

Throughout May, cans of “nothing” were sold statewide for $5 at 68 participating grocers, including all New Hampshire Hannaford, Harvest Market, and Market Basket locations, as well as Sully’s Superette in Goffstown and Allenstown and Vista Foods in Laconia. Cans, which serve as a bank for collecting donations, represent the reality that thousands of people in New Hampshire have nothing to eat. All proceeds go to the NH Food Bank to buy meals for the hungry.

Governor Maggie Hassan helped launch the campaign in April and purchased the first Nothing can. United States Senator Kelly Ayotte and Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster also assisted in the effort by purchasing cans during the campaign. The Nothing campaign raised more than $367,000 in the past three years. With the NH Food Bank able to turn every $1 donated into two nutritious meals, the Nothing campaign has effectively generated more than 735,000 meals for those in need since 2013. To learn more about the campaign and to donate, visit: www.nhfoodbank.org/nothing.aspx.

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From left: Emily Cashman, Special Assistant for Projects and Policy in Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s office; Executive Councilor Chris Pappas; Arthur Sullivan, Co-chair, NH Food Bank Advisory Committee, & Principal, Brady Sullivan Properties; John Dumais, Co-chair NH Food Bank Advisory Committee, President, NH Grocers Association; Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas; Thomas Blonski, President & CEO, Catholic Charities NH; Joseph Carelli, President of Citizens Bank NH & VT; Bruce Van Saun, Chairman & CEO of Citizens Financial Group; and Mel Gosselin, NH Food Bank Executive Director.

“We are extraordinarily grateful to the Citizens Bank Foundation, participating grocers and the people of New Hampshire for their support of the NH Food Bank’s efforts to eliminate hunger in the Granite State. It is due to that support that we were able to raise $86,261 to date this year through the sale of 16,606 Nothing cans,” Mel Gosselin said. “On top of the support for the Nothing campaign, we are thrilled to receive this new, large-capacity box truck to bolster our statewide distribution capabilities. This generous donation will help the NH Food Bank save considerable money on repairs and operations, while better and more efficiently serving those in need.”

The Nothing campaign comes at a time when the need in New Hampshire continues to grow. Last year, the NH Food Bank distributed over 11 million pounds of food, which equates to more than 9.1 million meals, marking a nearly 30-percent increase from 2013. This year, because of the growing demand, the Food Bank is aiming to distribute more than 12 million pounds of food.

In 2010, the Citizens Bank Foundation helped the Rhode Island Community Food Bank launch the first Nothing campaign. During the last five years, along with its support in New Hampshire, the Citizens Bank Foundation has supported food banks and partner agencies in Vermont and Ohio in their Nothing campaigns.


About the New Hampshire Food Bank
The New Hampshire Food Bank, a program of Catholic Charities New Hampshire, has been working to relieve hunger in the Granite State since 1984.  In 2014, as the state’s only Food Bank, the New Hampshire Food Bank efficiently procured and distributed over 11 million pounds of food to people in need through more than 400 non-profit registered agencies.  Agencies include food pantries, neighborhood centers, low-income housing sites, senior nutrition centers, family crisis centers, hospices, soup kitchens, emergency shelters, after school programs, and day care centers. For more information about the New Hampshire Food Bank, please visit www.nhfoodbank.org. Find us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/nhfoodbank or follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/nhfb.

About the Citizens Bank Foundation
Citizens Bank Foundation is a subsidiary of the Citizens Charitable Foundation, which is a charitable contributions vehicle of Citizens Financial Group, Inc., and Citizens Bank, N.A. The foundation’s support is focused on human services, affordable housing and economic development. Citizens Bank’s website is citizensbank.com.


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About Carol Robidoux 5278 Articles
Journalist and editor of ManchesterInkLink.com, a hyperlocal news and information site for Manchester, NH.