Bettendorf, IA - In conjunction with Pay It Forward Day on April 28, 2022, the Ascentra Credit Union Foundation (ACUF), the philanthropic arm of Ascentra Credit Union has contributed $50,000 towards the expansion of the River Bend Food Bank’s facilities.
“Pay It Forward is a movement that has significant meaning to the members and staff of Ascentra Credit Union”, said Jennifer Naeve, SVP and Chief Marketing Officer, Ascentra Credit Union. “Not only is it a part of the credit union philosophy, but our past leaders who are so dear to us have left us with messages to “listen, care, do what’s right” and to “be the light,” and it is our responsibility as a part of the communities we serve to uphold a “pay it forward” mentality to make a difference.”
In 2021, food insecurity in the food bank’s 23-county, bi-state regions grew to more than 115,000 people, including more than 35,000 children. This means that 1 in 10 adults and 1 in 5 children are missing meals. The need for food has increased more than 50% during the pandemic, which is the largest increase in food insecurity since the 2008 recession. As a result, the River Bend Food Bank distributed nearly 22.5 million meals across their service area last year.
“Food insecurity is a serious need in our community,” said Linda Andry, President and CEO, Ascentra Credit Union. “We applaud the efforts that the team at River Bend Food Bank are making to meet the growing need of food insecure people in our communities and are proud to stand behind their mission to end hunger in eastern Iowa and western Illinois.”
To support a need of this size, the food bank needs to expand its current facility on Kimmel Drive in Davenport. They have initiated a capital campaign to support an expansion project that will add an estimated 25,000 square feet of warehouse and volunteer space allowing them to distribute up to 50% more meals and fulfill the unmet need of people experiencing hunger in their service area.
ACUF committee members and representatives visited the food bank in April to present the $50,000 check. “Ascentra’s contribution will helps us add on to our facility to provide more space for receiving and handling food donations, safer docks for pantry representatives to pick up food orders, and additional space for the thousands of volunteers who help our programs reach people in need,” said Mike Miller, President and CEO, River Bend Food Bank during the visit.
The ACUF was created following the passing of Paul Lensmeyer, who was the President and CEO of Ascentra from 1993 to 2013. The focus of this foundation is to fund work to enhance youth development, expand credit education opportunities, foster community development, support cultural activities, and invest in ways to enhance the financial viability of the underserved.
Ascentra Credit Union Foundation committee members and representatives present the River Bend Food Bank with a $50,000 grant towards their capital campaign to add a 25,000-square foot expansion to their facility in Davenport. Pictured, left to right are Leslie Corlett, Director of Corporate and Foundation Giving, River Bend Food Bank; Shelly Ridgeway, SVP Chief Operations Officer, Ascentra Credit Union; Larry Ridenour, Board Chairperson, Ascentra Credit Union; Mike Miller, President and CEO, River Bend Food Bank; Linda Andry, President and CEO, Ascentra Credit Union, Debbie Lensmeyer, Committee Member, Ascentra Credit Union Foundation; Jennifer Naeve, SVP and Chief Marketing Officer, Ascentra Credit Union; and Barry Shaw, Marketing Team Lead, Ascentra Credit Union.