The Citizens Bank Foundation has awarded a $10,000 grant to the Vermont Foodbank’s Match for Co-Op Buying program. Through this program, purchases by local food shelves are matched dollar for dollar, doubling their buying power. The grant will help provide 30,000 meals to those in need in communities across Vermont.

Citizens Bank Grant

The grant is part of the bank’s Citizens Helping Citizens Fight Hunger initiative that focuses on eradicating hunger by supporting innovative programs and organizations that provide access to nutritious food.

The Vermont Foodbank is the state’s largest hunger-relief organization. Through a network of 270 food shelves, meal sites, senior centers, shelters and after-school programs, the Foodbank feeds as many as 86,000 Vermonters who need food assistance.

“Hunger is a serious problem in Vermont, but it is something that Citizens Bank is committed to doing something about,” said Joe Carelli, President of Citizens Bank and RBS Citizens, New Hampshire and Vermont. “By supporting programs like Match for Co-Op Buying, we are able to ensure that local food shelves have even more nutritious food to provide individuals and families. We are proud to support the Vermont Foodbank and its food shelf partners. ”

Through the grant, 10 local food shelves will receive a $1,000 matching donation to purchase food. The grantees include:

Kitchen Cupboard, Bennington
Brattleboro Area Drop-in-Center
Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf, Burlington
Hubbardton-Castleton Food Center
Heavenly Food Pantry, Essex Junction
Addison Community Action, Middlebury
Montpelier Food Shelf
Poultney Food Shelf
Rutland Community Cupboard
Springfield Family Center

“We’re so grateful to Citizens Bank for supporting hunger relief efforts,” said Rob Meehan, director of the Chittenden Emergency Food Shelf. “These funds will help us purchase more food from our partners at the Vermont Foodbank to assist the thousands of struggling families we serve each month.”

“The Heavenly Food Pantry, which serves all of Essex and Westford, is  run by volunteers and is dependent on food and dollar donations from businesses, individuals, schools and churches,” noted Val Gabert.  ” This generous matching grant from Citizens Bank Foundation will allow us to double our purchasing power at the Vermont Food Bank and provide more food products to those in need in our communities.  Generosity like this allows us to continue to serve from 50 to 60 families where we distribute up to 5,000 pounds of food and other necessities each month.”

Citizens Helping Citizens Fight Hunger is part of the bank’s broader Citizens Helping Citizens program addressing five key areas: hunger, housing, economic development, financial education and volunteerism. Get more information about Citizens Bank’s community initiatives online at


Vermont Foodbank is the state’s largest hunger-relief organization, providing nutritious food through a network of more than 300 community partners – food shelves, meal sites, schools, hospitals, and housing sites. Food insecurity has increased dramatically as a result of the pandemic, economic disruptions, and recent flooding. The Vermont Foodbank and its network have been on the front lines, working to ensure that everyone has the food they need to maintain their health. Last year, the Vermont Foodbank provided over 12 million pounds of food to people throughout Vermont. The Vermont Foodbank, a member of Feeding America, is nationally recognized as one of the most effective and efficient nonprofits and food banks in the nation.