When Ben Jenness and the team at First Farmers Bank & Trust in Chrisman decided to engage the local community to help the Chrisman Backpack Program, they were hoping to have the same impact as they had in the past. Rallying around the motto of “Help Us Help Them”, the team got the campaign rolling in the branch, asking the local community to bring in food items and committing to a $2,500 donation. The community responded in a big way, and the campaign collected around double what First Farmers was able to donate in years past.
“We’re so proud to be a part of this community,” says Ben Jenness, branch manager. “The people here really care about each other and work together to help each other. We know that hunger effects so many families, and it’s been a blessing to be able to do what we can to tackle that issue in our local community.”
The Chrisman Backpack Program was started to address the hunger needs within the Chrisman School District. Every Friday, they distribute approximately 50 bags of food to children as they leave school. Recognizing that the impact of hunger can be seen physically, mentally, and academically, especially in young students, the Backpack Program strives to alleviate food shortages during weekends and evenings. Since the start of the program, schools have seen improved behavior and attention spans.
Trisha and Kelli from the CUSD #6 visited the Chrisman branch on March 2nd to gather the donations and accept a $2,500 check donation. Together with the branch team, they gathered for a picture.
“This is what I enjoy most about working at the bank,” says Ben. “We get to give back to our local communities and make a difference on a local level. It was a great month of raising awareness and working together to gather these donations. Thank you so much to the people who organize the Backpack Program, to my team here, and especially to the community. Thanks for helping.”