April 28 is Pay It Forward Day, and the Ascentra Credit Union Foundation (ACUF) contributed $50,000 to the expansion of the River Bend Food Bank’s facilities.

According to a release, food insecurity in the River Bend Food Bank’s regions grew to more than 115,000 people, including more than 35,000 children. The need for food has increased more than 50% during the pandemic, which is the largest increase in food insecurity since the 2008 recession, and one in ten adults and one in five children are missing meals. The River Bend Food Bank distributed nearly 22.5 million meals across their service area in 2021.

“Food insecurity is a serious need in our community,” Linda Andry, President and CEO, Ascentra Credit Union, said. “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 the increased need, the food bank needs to expand its current facility on Kimmel Drive in Davenport and has begun a capital campaign for an expansion project to add an estimated 25,000 square feet of warehouse and volunteer space, allowing them to distribute up to 50% more meals and fulfill the 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 toward the project. “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,” Mike Miller, President and CEO, River Bend Food Bank, said during the visit.

Ascentra Credit Union Foundation presented the River Bend Food Bank with a $50,000 grant toward an expansion to the Davenport facility. (L-R) 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.

According to the release:

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

For more information on the ACUF, click here.

The vision of the River Bend Food Bank is a hunger-free Iowa and Illinois. For more information, click here.