Despite the merry atmosphere that surrounds the holiday season, there are plenty of families who face extra levels of stress this time of year; families in financial need often find it even more difficult to make ends meet than usual and local food pantries feel the pinch, too.
In 2011, the East Hampton Food Pantry recognized that it was feeling growing pressure because the needs of local communities who relied on it as a resource had escalated. Food Pantry personnel reached out to Bridgehampton National Bank and asked for help; that collaboration resulted in the annual Apple Campaign.
In 2015, BNB raised and distributed nearly $30,000 in support of area food banks. Each year across the bank-wide network of 40 branches, customers and staff contribute funds and food that are distributed to local pantries, as well as Long Island Cares and Island Harvest. Since the program’s inception, BNB has contributed well in excess of $100,000.
“This is one of the community programs we are most proud of,” said Kevin M. O’Connor, President and CEO of Bridgehampton National Bank. “It is a true collaboration between the Bank [and] its customers and employees, working together to help those most in need in our communities. It is the essence of what it means to be a community bank.”
The program has become an annual holiday tradition which runs through the end of January. In lieu of holiday gifts to staff, BNB donates in the name of its employees, and customers enthusiastically participate. BNB matches donations and fills in any gaps to reach its goals. In addition to the financial gift, branch staff members collect non-perishable foods during the months of November, December and January, which are also distributed to local pantries. BNB invites both customers and friends to stop by and give at any branch. A fabric lunch bag is available for a gift of $5 or more.
Established in 1910, BNB, with assets of approximately $3.8 billion, operates 40 retail branch locations serving Long Island and the greater New York metropolitan area. In addition, the Bank operates two loan production offices: one in Manhattan, and one in Riverhead, New York. BNB is recognized as one of the top community banks in the country. BNB has a rich tradition of involvement in the community, supporting programs and initiatives that promote local business, the environment, education, healthcare, social services, and the arts.
Source: Press release issued by Bridgehampton National Bank dated December 6, 2016.