Building on #GivingTuesday and our just-launched brand and tagline “Bank Like You”, we created the One Million Meals campaign to engage our stakeholders to “Give Like You”.
At CIT, we believe in the power of responsible companies to be a force for good. Our actions are making a positive, meaningful difference. We focus our corporate social responsibility framework on financial and personal empowerment, supporting the environment, and advancing wellness. In local communities nationwide, CIT employees demonstrate the power of giving back and the joy of helping others.
Though we engage in our communities year-round, we knew that the holiday season is a special time and one that sparks the spirit of giving. For many, the holidays are typically filled with fun traditions, meals with loved ones and gifts. However, for 37 million Americans, it is still a time of struggling with hunger.
We wanted to create a program that would spread holiday cheer and give back to those in need, while offering an easy way for our customers, employees and stakeholders to participate. With these goals in mind, CIT partnered with Feeding America over the 2018 holiday season to help leverage CIT’s giving and its social media outreach to make an important impact in the battle against hunger. We believe that big goals lead to big results, so we set an ambitious target: to donate one million meals to those in need.
We invited employees, customers and social media followers to engage with #GiveLikeYou on CIT’s social media platforms and to vote for a Feeding America program to receive donations.
We believed by launching on #GivingTuesday, we’d be able to boost visibility of the campaign and gain awareness when many eyeballs and wallets are spending time online for Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
CIT also contributed meals for every opening of a Savings Builder account at CIT Bank, the company’s national online bank, and checking account at OneWest Bank, the company’s retail bank in California.
The three critical food and nutrition assistance programs highlighted in this campaign were the Mobile Food Pantry Program, the Backpack Program and the Senior Grocery Program. With these programs, we knew we could make a difference for people across different age groups, backgrounds and locations.
The Mobile Food Pantry Program directly serves clients in areas of high need. A truckload of food is distributed to clients in pre-packed boxes or through a farmer’s market-style distribution where clients choose to take what they need.
The Backpack Program helps children get the nutritious and easy-to-prepare food they need to get enough to eat on the weekends. While many children receive free or reduced-price meals through school lunch or breakfast programs, school meals may be the only meals they eat.
The Senior Grocery Program works to improve the health of low-income elderly people by supplementing their diets with nutritious USDA foods.
The partnership with Feeding America gave CIT the opportunity to make an impact on a nationwide network of 200 local food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs that together serve more than 46 million people a year.
The campaign exceeded the original goal of donating one million meals by 50 percent. The one and a half million meals were split predominantly among the three programs: The Senior Grocery Program, the Mobile Pantry and the BackPack program. In addition, 200,000 meals were donated to the L.A. Regional food bank.