As part of its national commitment to helping families facing food insecurity during the COVID-19 pandemic, Wells Fargo & Company teamed up locally with Island Harvest Food Bank in establishing a drive-up food bank at the Wells Fargo branch in Hempstead.
Wells Fargo’s Drive-Up Food Bank program helped support 250 local families each week for six weeks on consecutive Saturdays from mid-September through the end of October with fresh produce, non-perishable food items, masks, and hand sanitizer supplied by Island Harvest Food Bank. In all, the Wells Fargo event in Hempstead helped approximately 1,500 families struggling with food insecurity due to the pandemic and other economic factors.
“Americans around the country are hurting right now as they try to make ends meet due to the deep economic impact of COVID-19,” said Bill Daley, vice chairman of Public Affairs at Wells Fargo. “One of the biggest challenges in the current environment is getting food to those who need it most. That’s why Wells Fargo is using the broad reach of our locations, including bank branches and corporate properties around the country, to help distribute food and increase accessibility for families facing hunger.” Wells Fargo’s Drive-Up Food Bank’s goal is to provide 50 million meals across the U.S. to help feed seniors, children, adults, and families.
“We are grateful for Wells Fargo’s support in helping us address the critical need for food assistance during this ongoing health crisis,” said Randi Shubin Dresner, president & CEO, Island Harvest Food Bank. “As many Long Islanders continue to struggle to put food on their tables, it’s good to know we have valued partners like Wells Fargo in helping our neighbors in need.”
According to Feeding America, a national hunger-relief organization, approximately one-in-six people in America may experience food insecurity due to the pandemic, an increase of 46% compared to 2018. Island Harvest Food Bank has assisted more than 300,000 families on Long Island since the beginning of March, supplying fresh and non-perishable food, personal protection equipment and offering referral services to assistance programs such as SNAP (formerly food stamps). Island Harvest Food Bank has distributed more than 9.4 million meals across Nassau and Suffolk counties between March and October 2020, representing a 52% increase over the same period last year. The food bank has increased its food purchases by more than 500% to meet the increased demand for supplemental food support to people impacted by COVID-19.
Wells Fargo’s Drive-Up Food Bank program makes available outdoor areas of many of its locations, including bank branches and office buildings, to serve as mobile food distribution centers, in cooperation with local hunger-relief organizations that are part of the Feeding America network of food banks. More information about the Wells Fargo Drive-Up Food Bank program, including cities that will host mobile food distribution events, can be found at wellsfargo.com/foodbank.