The Ascentra Credit Union Foundation, the philanthropic branch of Ascentra Credit Union, has contributed $50,000 toward the expansion of the River Bend Food Bank’s facilities.
In 2021, food insecurity in the organization’s 23-county, bi-state regions grew to more than 115,000 people, including more than 35,000 children. This means that 1 in 10 adults and 1 in 5 children are missing meals.
The need for food has increased more than 50% during the pandemic, which is the largest increase in food insecurity since the 2008 recession. As a result, the River Bend Food Bank distributed nearly 22.5 million meals across their service area last year.
“Food insecurity is a serious need in our community,” said Linda Andry, president and CEO, Ascentra Credit Union. “We applaud the efforts that the team at River Bend Food Bank are making to meet the growing need of food insecure people in our communities and are proud to stand behind their mission to end hunger in eastern Iowa and western Illinois.”
To support a need of this size, the food bank needs to expand its current facility on Kimmel Drive in Davenport. It has initiated a capital campaign to support an expansion project that will add an estimated 25,000 square feet of warehouse and volunteer space allowing them to distribute up to 50% more meals and fulfill the unmet need of people experiencing hunger in their service area.
Foundation committee members and representatives visited the food bank in April to present the $50,000 check.
“Ascentra’s contribution will help us add on to our facility to provide more space for receiving and handling food donations, safer docks for pantry representatives to pick up food orders, and additional space for the thousands of volunteers who help our programs reach people in need,” Mike Miller, the food bank’s president and CEO, said during the visit.
The foundation was created following the death of Paul Lensmeyer, who was the president and CEO of Ascentra from 1993 to 2013. The focus of this foundation is to fund work to enhance youth development, expand credit education opportunities, foster community development, support cultural activities, and invest in ways to enhance the financial viability of the underserved.