2 million meals provided by local food pantries through Hancock Whitney COVID-19 community relief investment

Shane Loper, June 10, 2020

Just 10 weeks ago, we realized the coronavirus pandemic created real, significant challenges for so many people in terms of adequate food, income, basic safeguards against the virus, and housing to shelter in place. We witnessed countless individuals and organizations doing extraordinary things in the battle to beat COVID-19, and we knew we had to help. Hancock Whitney has very deep roots in the communities we serve. Pitching in was the right thing to do so that together we could help keep people safe and our communities strong.

PCB - Feeding the Gulf Coast HW Associates Volunteering

Associates helped pack food boxes for distribution in Panama City, FL.

In April, Hancock Whitney announced a commitment of $2.5 million for investments in communities to help people in some of the Gulf South’s most vulnerable neighborhoods during the COVID-19 pandemic. This investment would help stock local food pantries, provide medical supplies to protect residents and first responders, and fund housing assistance and legal services that provide critical eviction representation in local communities across Hancock Whitney’s banking footprint.

In taking a look around our communities, we realized that food access and availability was by far the prevalent concern. Individuals and families were being forced to make extremely tough choices between paying for food, keeping utilities connected, or staying in their homes. For the first time in their lives, many were seeking assistance. Because of this, Hancock Whitney allocated $1 million to stocking food pantries. While we knew we wanted to help as many families as possible, we never could’ve imagined how hard these organizations worked to make these dollars stretch to feed so many.

Pensacola - Feeding the Gulf Coast - Hancock Whitney Associates Sorting Canned Goods_3

Associates in Pensacola, FL, pack food bags at Feeding the Gulf Coast.

We wanted to provide both monetary and volunteer support. While we know the immediate need was to provide food for many that had no other resources while businesses were closed, we knew that the effects of the pandemic would last well until the future. Our commitment of funds also came with a promise to bring back our associates to volunteer when we were needed. Whether we were packing food boxes, cleaning up warehouses, or distributing  bags of food to lines of cars that stretched for several city blocks, we were going to be here to help.

uw1

Our associates distributed bags of food in conjunction with the Capital Area United Way in Donaldsonville, LA.

In all, Hancock Whitney was able to contribute funds to 54 food pantries across five states. While we are pleased that we were able to distribute funds to so many different organizations, the numbers grew exponentially from there. In total, the funds given to these food pantries provided and will continue to keep shelves stocked with more than 2 million meals for nearly 50,000 families.

Hancock Whitney was built on the foundation of commitment to service, and today we continue to build upon that legacy by helping care for those who need it most. Whether it was providing direct assistance for people and businesses suffering financial impacts from the pandemic, assisting clients with receiving their PPP loans to get their businesses back open, providing service in our financial centers, or assisting in the community with food relief, our Hancock Whitney teams have remained steadfastly committed throughout COVID-19. Together, we can support each other, invest in our communities, reopen our hometowns, rebuild our businesses, and create a better future.