On Tuesday, May 3 — or, as the company refers to it, Fifth Third Day — the bank set a lofty goal of feeding 5.3 million people during the month of May.
Fighting food insecurity has been an initiative of the bank for several years.
Thousands of employees across 11 states began packing power lunches Tuesday. Locally 830,000 meals will go to the Freestore FoodBank to distribute.
“Were going to be doing it everyday, every week until the end of May,” said Kala Gibson, chief corporate responsibility officer. “That’s 24/7 packing.”
Gibson said the company will distribute food on food trucks and visit the Freestore distribution center to continue their effort of addressing hunger.
“This pandemic has shown us that people are living paycheck to paycheck,” said Kurt Reiber, president and CEO of Freestore FoodBank. “75% of all the families that come to our large scale food distribution have never stepped foot in one of our pantries.”
On average, Reiber said the food bank distributes more than 200,000 power pack lunches, with 5/3’s help they will be able to quadruple that effort.
“Eight out of 10 kids are eligible for free and reduced lunches within the 20 counties served by the Freestore,” said Reiber. “By having them get these power packs over the weekend allows them to go from lunch on Friday to breakfast on Monday.”
In previous years, 5/3 has had goals of one million meals. Gibson said with the help of the entire bank footprint they will be able to reach their new goal of 5.3 million.
“5.3 million meals won’t solve the problem but it’s a step in the right direction,” said Gibson. “One meal at a time, one community at a time, one child at a time.”
Bengals running back Joe Mixon was also in attendance Tuesday, helping to pack lunches and welcome employees.
Watch the Latest Headlines in our 24/7 News Livestream: