Helping to provide meals to neighbors in need during the holidays
Wells Fargo is supporting more than 200 food banks this holiday season to help meet the sharp rise in hunger across our communities.
When Andrea Thomas was furloughed from her job as a health care collections agent this summer, money quickly turned scarce for the single mother. She had her 6-year-old daughter Lai’La to care for and bills stacking up. For the first time, Thomas turned to a food bank for support — and she’s far from alone.
Feeding America®, the largest domestic hunger-relief organization in the country, estimates that due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 1 in 6 people in the U.S. may experience food insecurity this year. That’s an increase of 46% compared to 2018, and nearly 40% of those currently seeking food bank assistance are first-timers like Thomas.
To meet the sharp rise in food insecurity, Wells Fargo is helping to provide 82 million meals* to families in need through the Feeding America network of 200 food banks by year-end. Additionally, grants will be made internationally to food banks operating in Wells Fargo’s global footprint during the holiday season.
“It’s a sign of hope that there’s somebody listening and willing to help. I could make a good meal for my kid, and we had enough to share with my neighbor and help her feed her kids. It’s a small gesture that went a long way to help our community during a time of need.” — Andrea Thomas
“The holidays should be a time of joy, and the more families we can help put food on the table, the stronger our communities will be,” said Nate Hurst, Wells Fargo’s head of Social Impact and Sustainability. “Food banks have been doing phenomenal work this year to meet the increase in need, and we’re proud to continue our support of these local efforts.”
‘It’s a sign of hope’
Over the past four years, Wells Fargo has teamed up with Feeding America to help provide millions of meals to families in need. In 2019, the Wells Fargo Holiday Food Bank program helped provide more than 71 million meals through donations and collected food. Wells Fargo employees also volunteered more than 19,039 hours at food banks across the country.
This summer, the Drive-Up Food Bank program was created to help reach more families facing hunger by working with Feeding America food banks to distribute food at Wells Fargo branches and corporate locations throughout the country. From Fresno, California, to El Paso, Texas, to Philadelphia — more than 5 million pounds of food were distributed in 35 cities over three months.
“It was life-changing,” Thomas said of visiting the Wells Fargo Drive-Up Food Bank distribution in Mesa, Arizona. “I didn’t have to figure out if I was going to pay for groceries or pay for rent to keep my household afloat.”
For Thomas, the fresh produce provided not only gave her food for her and her daughter, but also faith that things would get better. Her community, Maricopa County in Arizona, is projected to have the fourth-highest number of food insecure people in the country this year, according to the latest Feeding America analysis.
“It’s a sign of hope that there’s somebody listening and willing to help,” Thomas said. “I could make a good meal for my kid, and we had enough to share with my neighbor and help her feed her kids. It’s a small gesture that went a long way to help our community during a time of need.”
Written by: Janny Hu
Many hearts. One community.
This holiday season, Wells Fargo is saluting those who have been working tirelessly for their communities during the pandemic. We’re proud to:
- Extend our relationship with Feeding America member food banks to help combat the sharp rise in food insecurity and ensure families have holiday meals on the table. By year-end, Wells Fargo will have helped provide 82 million meals* to families in need in 2020. Wells Fargo will also contribute $250,000 to nonprofits feeding families in need in countries across the company’s global footprint.
- Raise up to $1 million for the American Red Cross by encouraging everyone to shower frontline workers and military personnel with gratitude. For each digital holiday note of thanks with the hashtag #WFGivesThanks**, Wells Fargo will donate $5. We will also bring joy to military families by helping them reunite for the holidays.
- Help small businesses hardest hit this year by deploying approximately $50 million of the Wells Fargo Open For Business Fund to nonprofits that help them to stay open, and use social media and other marketing platforms to encourage people to “shop local” and shine a light on these vital businesses.
* 82 million meals calculation is based on 1) Actual number of meals distributed through Wells Fargo Drive-Up Food Bank events and 2) Wells Fargo’s financial contributions to support Feeding America food banks 7/20/20-12/31/20. $1 helps provide at least 10 meals secured by Feeding America on behalf of local member food banks.
** From 11/23/20 to 12/27/20, for every Wells Fargo card retweeted or shared on Twitter In-Feed, Instagram In-Feed, and/or Facebook In-Feed that includes the #WFGivesThanks hashtag, Wells Fargo will donate $5 to American Red Cross. (Maximum donation of $1,000,000; Wells Fargo is also guaranteeing a minimum donation of $500,000.) Social media user’s profile must be set to public in order for # share to count.