MILWAUKEE, WI--(Marketwire - Feb 11, 2013) - To combat local hunger, today BMO Harris Bank donated the proceeds from its annual holiday display to Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin during an especially crucial time. The battle against hunger requires particularly close attention during the post-holiday lull in charitable giving, which drops off sharply following New Year's Day. Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin is facing a 33% increase in demand for food from local pantries, meal programs and shelters, so the timing of the BMO Harris contribution is critical to providing long-term support for those in need.
Over the holiday season, the downtown BMO Harris Bank lobby was transformed into Holiday Junction, a locomotive-themed display that continues a 40-year tradition for families to visit the holiday display annually to enjoy the sights. BMO Harris tracked visitors to the holiday display and committed a $5 donation to Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin for each visitor. A total of $50,000, representing 10,000 visitors to the display, was collected and donated today. To demonstrate the impact of this donation, the check presentation took place surrounded by 125 wrapped gifts, each representing one ton of food. The BMO Harris Bank donation will allow Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin to distribute 250,000 pounds of food for local residents in need.
"The stark reality is that hunger is a year-round problem, not just an issue during the holidays when charitable giving is top-of-mind," said Bonnie Bellehumeur, President and CEO, Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin. "We are very grateful to BMO Harris and all those who visited the holiday display this year for their generous financial support at this critical time."
"Visiting the annual holiday display is a family tradition for many in our community and a great way for families to get into the holiday spirit," said Kara Kaiser, Regional President, BMO Harris Bank. "But most importantly, the visits that people made to the holiday display will also help Feeding America in its efforts to alleviate hunger in our community when it's needed the most."
Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin supplies food to 330,000 people in Wisconsin. The food bank is the largest, private, nonprofit distributor of food in the state. Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin distributes more than 18 million pounds of food annually to 1,000 food pantries, meal programs and shelters throughout the state. Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin is affiliated with Feeding America, which is consistently ranked as one of the most efficient charities, out of the country's 100 largest charities, by Forbes magazine. Since 1982, Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin has distributed nearly 300 million pounds of food. To learn more about hunger in Wisconsin, visit www.feedingamericawi.org.
About BMO Harris Bank
Based in Chicago, BMO Harris Bank N.A. provides a broad range of personal banking products and solutions through over 600 branches and approximately 1,300 ATMs in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Nevada, Arizona and Florida. BMO Harris Bank's commercial banking team provides a combination of sector expertise, local knowledge and mid-market focus throughout the U.S. Deposit and loan products and services provided by BMO Harris Bank N.A. Member FDIC. BMO Harris Bank(SM) is a trade name used by BMO Harris Bank N.A. BMO Harris Bank is part of BMO Financial Group, a North American financial organization with 1,600 branches, and a retail deposit base of approximately $180 billion.