PNC is Proud to Go Orange to Raise Awareness About Childhood Hunger
By Sean Welsh, PNC Regional President for West Michigan
According to the USDA’s annual report on household food security in the United States, 13.5 million American households could not afford to buy enough food to feed their families in 2021.
More than one out of every three households in Michigan struggles to afford basic necessities, including food. Moreover, situations beyond the control of families, such as the pandemic, inflation and unexpected job losses can make it almost impossible for families to make ends meet.
This unacceptable situation is why for seven years, PNC has teamed up with Kids’ Food Basket to sponsor Go Orange month to raise funds, resources and awareness about childhood hunger and food insecurity in our community.
PNC employees are joining their neighbors in West Michigan during the month of March, which is National Nutritional Awareness Month, by volunteering throughout our community with Kids’ Food Basket. On March 8, branch employees donned orange tee shirts and prepped Sack Suppers to show support for Go Orange Day.
A lot of people ask me why a bank such as PNC is so focused on this cause. The answer is simple. As a national main street bank, we believe that our success is proportional to the prosperity we help to create in each of the communities we serve.
Back in 2004, PNC surveyed its employees and asked where they thought we should focus our philanthropic resources to make the greatest difference. The overwhelming answer was early childhood education. We subsequently launched PNC Grow Up Great, a $500 million, multi-year initiative designed to help primarily underserved children from birth to age 5 achieve success in school and life. Grow Up Great has evolved into one of the finest corporate early childhood education programs in the nation. In the past 19 years, we have served more than 8 million children, and our employees have donated more than 1 million volunteer hours through a progressive program that permits up to 40 hours of time off each year for volunteerism.
You might ask, what does early childhood education has to do with childhood food equity? Again, the answer is straightforward: studies have repeatedly shown that when children are hungry, they cannot learn. All children deserve access to good food that supports their brains and bodies each day.
I want to thank my friends at Kids’ Food Basket for doing so much to address childhood food insecurity. I encourage everyone in our community to Go Orange and join the movement to ensure all children in West Michigan have access to healthy food.
To find out how you can make a difference during March and beyond, visit the Go Orange page.