The Pennsylvania Bankers Association was recently in Marco Island at the JW Marriott for its 2021 convention with a four-day program filled with dynamic speakers, inspiring programs and discussions on the state of the banking industry. But they were also looking to help out in the community.
“Bankers do more than just protect their clients’ savings; they support the dreams and livelihoods of the small businesses, customers and communities they serve and beyond, ”said Duncan Campbell, President and CEO of PA Bankers. “The Pennsylvania Bankers Association and its members are continually looking for meaningful and engaging ways to support the community, and we thank Our Daily Bread Food Pantry (ODBFP) for welcoming us with the opportunity to serve the Marco Island area.”
Thanks to Chris Majors, Managing Director of the Marriott Golf Club, who led PA Bankers towards ODBFP’s mission to end hunger in the community.
The PA Bankers spent their first day, Friday, October 29, with over 40 volunteers helping and giving back to the community. A bus picked up the volunteers from the JW Marriott around noon and dropped off the first group at the Winn-Dixie supermarket.
The group joined the ODBFP team in a “Buy One, Give One” food drive and met with generous community members and the Winn-Dixie team.
It was also a very special day for the Winn-Dixie team; Stephen Sheppard, Executive Director, received the Hunger Heroes of Distinction Award from Ron Clay of the ODBFP.
According to Sheppard, this is a very special partnership. “Winn-Dixie Marco Island is doing whatever it takes to help.” Kristina Fashauer of the Winn-Dixie District Office added that “Stephen has stood up for this relationship and we stand behind this team for all the great things they do on Marco Island.
According to Ron Clay, once a year they also host a huge food drive for the Food Pantry and in recent years that has led to around six pallets of food. Many thanks to the Marco Island Winn-Dixie team and their over 100 employees!
The second PA Bankers Association group was dropped off at the pantry annex of Wesley United Methodist Church where they helped fold flyers, wrap door prizes for senior citizens’ lunches, label large bags of food and to work with the ODBFP team with the filing and organization of the office.
The third group of volunteers was dropped off at the ODBFP on Winterberry Drive, where there was plenty to do to prepare for the Saturday food distribution. They bagged fresh produce, frozen meat, and non-perishable foods. Volunteers also sorted and marked food donations, restocked shelves and weighed donations.
By mid-afternoon, everyone gathered at the ODBFP site at Winterberry Drive to see firsthand how each food cart is filled with a variety of foods including milk, eggs, meat, fresh fruits and vegetables, fresh bread, canned snacks, canned vegetables, breakfast cereals, beans, rice, pasta, etc., all subject to availability.
According to Cindy Wallett, Senior Vice President, Member Relations and Professional Development, PA Bankers Association, “We were grateful for the opportunity to help! And the Pantry team made it a fun, effective and efficient experience. The Marco community can be proud and grateful for the staff and volunteers of Our Daily Bread and when we return to Marco we will be back with helping hands.
ODBFP serves as a lifeline for many of its beneficiaries as prices for meat, poultry and eggs continue to rise. According to Liz Pecora, vice-president of the ODBFP, the pantry serves 40% of children, 51% of adults and 9% of the elderly.
ODBFP is grateful for the generosity of the Marco Island community, its supporting partners, and the help provided by visitors such as the PA Bankers Association.