Liberty Bank, Rotary clubs raise record dollars to fill food baskets

The CT Food Bank reports that one-in-eight adults and one-in-six children living in Connecticut struggle with hunger, a sobering statistic especially with Thanksgiving just a day away. To offset this hardship, the 15th annual Liberty Bank/Rotary Club Thanksgiving Drive has raised a record-breaking $426,607 to supply holiday dinners and to fill shelves at local food pantries.

In Derby and Shelton, the Derby/Shelton Rotary Club and the Derby and Shelton branches of Liberty Bank accounted for $9,674 of that grand total. The Liberty Bank Foundation then matched each dollar raised with an additional 25 cents (or $2,419) and paid an incentive for a total of $12,193. Funds will be used to support Spooner House and St. Vincent de Paul.

“Every town in Connecticut has working families who simply do not earn enough to cover basic expenses,” said Sue Murphy, executive director of the Liberty Bank Foundation and a member of the Middletown Rotary Club. “Many times, this means skimping on food to pay for such things as rent or health care. We are grateful that our partnership with area Rotaries is helping make a notable difference.”

This year, 40 Rotary Clubs and the East Haddam Community Lions Club teamed up with the 55 Liberty Bank offices to raise funds. Since the drive began in 2004, it has raised almost $2.5 million, including the Liberty Bank Foundation match. All donations are used to provide food in the communities where they were given.

The following Rotary Clubs participated in the 2018 Liberty Bank/Rotary Club Thanksgiving Drive: Ansonia, Beacon Falls, Branford, Bristol, Cheshire, Chester, Clinton, Colchester, Deep River, Derby/Shelton, East Hampton, Essex, Groton/Ledyard, Hamden, Kensington/Berlin, Madison, Meriden, Middletown, Montville, Mystic, Naugatuck, New Britain/Berlin, New Haven, New London, Newington, Niantic, North Branford, North Haven, Norwich, Old Saybrook, Plainville, Seymour/Oxford, Southington, Stoningtons, Wallingford, Waterbury, Waterford, West Hartford, Wethersfield/Rocky Hill, and Willimantic. The East Haddam Community Lions Club also participated.

Rotary is a global network of more than 1.2 million volunteer leaders who dedicate their time and talent to tackle the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. There are 34,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas. Clubs are nonpolitical, nonreligious, and open to all cultures, races, and creeds. Their work impacts lives at both the local and international levels, from helping families in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world. As signified by the motto “Service Above Self,” Rotary’s main objective is service — in the community, in the workplace, and throughout the world.

Since its inception in 1997, the Liberty Bank Foundation has awarded almost $12 million in grants to nonprofit organizations within Liberty Bank’s market area. The foundation seeks to improve the quality of life for people of low to moderate income by investing in three areas: education to promote economic success for children and families; affordable housing; and basic needs. Along with its grantmaking, the foundation strives to foster the convening and collaboration of nonprofits, funders, business, and government to address community issues.

Established in 1825, Liberty Bank is Connecticut’s oldest bank, with over $4.9 billion in assets and 55 banking offices throughout the central, eastern, and shoreline areas of the state. As a full-service financial institution, Liberty offers consumer and commercial banking, home mortgages, insurance, and investment services. Named as a “Top Workplace” by the Hartford Courant for seven consecutive years, Liberty maintains a longstanding commitment to superior personal service and unparalleled community involvement.