Community Contributions to 2017 CANstruction Effort!

One of the biggest joys of The Board of Directors for Capital Region CANstruction is when businesses and community members reach out during the annual CANstruction program, asking how they can help. In addition to the Hunger Hero food + fund drives, we also occasionally hear from a group who wants to help us boost our impact, as M&T did this year.

In an effort led by Karen Walkowicz and Sonja Hotaling, co-chairs of the M & T Bank Community Service Committee for our Albany office, 566 lbs of food were collected and delivered to The Food Pantries as a donation to this year’s CANstruction program. Thank you M&T Bank!

On behalf of the effort, here is a guest blog from Karen:

When my colleagues and I at M&T Bank heard about this year’s successful Capital Region CANstruction Build Day, we knew we wanted to find a way to get involved and help The Food Pantries for the Capital District.

For those unfamiliar with M&T Bank, we were established in 1856 and have a long history as a community-focused bank serving the Albany / Hudson Valley. Locally, we have more than 450 employees providing banking, investment, insurance and mortgage financial services, including 100 employees based at our Ballston Lake office, where our most recent food drive took place.

We received a wonderful response from our Ballston Lake colleagues when it came to participating in our canned and boxed food collection. In total, we collected more than 566 pounds of goods in just a few short weeks with the help of our employees, management and incentives facilitated by our employee-driven Community Service Committee.

While we saw great results in the first few days, our Community Service Committee decided to drum up extra excitement by adding the incentive of a “dress down day” for anyone who made a donation. Customarily, “dress down days” are reserved for Fridays and employees need to make a $1 donation to our “Give a Child a Christmas” fund, where we help make holiday gift purchases for area children, in order to participate. By making a food donation employees were given a “dress down day” to use on any day other than Friday. This turned out to be a big hit!

On a more personal note, helping organize this food drive was a wonderful experience, but making the delivery to The Food Pantries for the Capital District on behalf of my colleagues at M&T Bank was second to none. Our local pantries need our support, and a food drive is a great way businesses and community members alike can make a huge difference.

Thank you to The Food Pantries for the Capital District for everything you do to make our community stronger.



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