Reader Input: Bank helps feed local hungry

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I recently had the pleasure of meeting Bob Haydon, president and chief executive officer of Community 1st Bank, located at 649 Lincoln Way. Bob called me in July in response to an article in the Auburn Journal about the Auburn Interfaith Food Closet (AIFC) (“Local food pantries, charities rise to the challenge of food insecurity,” Journal, July 18) and to a letter we mailed back in May, introducing 100 local businesses to the needs of the AIFC.

Community 1st Bank provided the AIFC with a very generous $500 donation. We’re grateful for Community 1st Bank and for all those who consider it a priority to address and reduce hunger in our community.

Bob not only wanted to know more about the AIFC, but he had some great ideas about how Community 1st Bank might help us raise money for the hungry.

Additionally, he introduced me to the Auburn Rotary Community Garden, located on Virgil Traynor’s property.

Because of Bob, I ended up being a weekly picker at that garden because I so enjoyed the beautiful environment, meeting Virgil, his dog and cat and the fellow pickers, plus I was getting good exercise in the process!

Bob told me recently that 20,000 pounds of produce was harvested through the summer from that garden! It is grown for the benefit of a couple of cancer groups and the Salvation Army, who in turn share  their weekly abundance with the AIFC so nothing gets wasted. Next, Bob wants the AIFC to attend an Auburn Rotary luncheon to share our story, which we will do in the near future.

On Oct. 5 I met Bob in person, as he wanted a tour of the AIFC. He was very impressed with what we are able to accomplish and store within the relatively small space we rent for a fair fee from the county.

Only 11 cents of each dollar goes toward running the AIFC, such as, utilities, rent and maintenance. All workers are volunteers. The AIFC is helping the county feed the hungry and the county is helping us in turn. This is how networking blossoms.

Diane Murphy, AIFC communications chairperson