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Meal ticket: Bank steps up its support for food banks

Valley Bank, in response to the pandemic, donates $575,000 to food banks in four states, including Florida.

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  • | 6:00 a.m. October 23, 2020
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Courtesy. Valley Bank Executive Vice President Bernadette Mueller.
Courtesy. Valley Bank Executive Vice President Bernadette Mueller.
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Banks and credit unions, as previously reported by the Business Observer, have been quick to react to the myriad ways the COVID-19 crisis has affected the communities in which they do business. Add Wayne, N.J.-based Valley Bank — which grabbed significant market share in the Tampa Bay region when it acquired Clearwater-based USAmeriBank — to the list of financial institutions that have helped people in need. 

Since April, Valley, which does business in four states, has allocated $575,000 to 14 food banks in Alabama, Florida, New Jersey and New York. “We were able to help feed 450,000 people in Tampa Bay alone through this donation,” says Bernadette Mueller, Valley Bank’s executive vice president, in an email to Coffee Talk. 

Valley, Mueller says, has a community advisory board that meets in each of the states in its geographic footprint. The battle against food insecurity and homelessness has been a focal point, along with measures to support the health of small businesses. 

In the Sunshine State, Valley says it has provided meals to some two million people via donations to Feeding Tampa Bay, The Harry Chapin Food Bank of Southwest Florida, Feeding South Florida, Feeding Northeast Florida and Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida. 

But the bank didn’t just throw money at nonprofits and walk away, Mueller says. 

“We work closely with our community partners and receive continuous updates on the impact the organizations are making in our communities,” she tells Coffee Talk. “Additionally, we’ve met with several of the organizations to see how our donations helped the organizations pivot to provide help in their communities."



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