Arbella Insurance Foundation Raises $150,000 for Hunger Relief Programs across New England

2013 Let’s Drive Out Hunger Campaign More Than Doubles Previous Year’s

QUINCY, Mass., April 2, 2013 — The Arbella Insurance Foundation ("Arbella") Group today announced that the fifth year of its “Let’s Drive Out Hunger” campaign has raised a record-breaking $149,617 – more than double the previous year’s total of $62,775. The campaign centers on a matching gift program in which Arbella matches donations from approximately 500 independent agents. While the match has been two-to-one in previous years, Arbella gave the program an extra boost this year by raising their contribution to three-to-one in honor of the campaign’s fifth anniversary.

“We’re extremely pleased with the good that Let’s Drive Out Hunger was able to do for the communities we serve this year,” said John Donohue, chairman and president of the Arbella Insurance Foundation. “Hunger in New England is a continuing problem that affects thousands of families, and we’re proud to partner with our agents to help solve this critical issue.”

This year, a total of 117 agents participated in the campaign, an increase of 33% over the previous year. Over the past five years, hundreds of donations from independent agents have helped Arbella’s Foundation raise more than $432,000 for local food pantries, soup kitchens and food programs across over 100 New England communities. These contributions have made a big impact: for example, every dollar donated to the Greater Boston Food Bank provides enough food for 2.36 meals, a rate that would turn $432,000 into over a million meals for Massachusetts residents.

Let’s Drive Out Hunger empowers agents to select food programs that they feel will do the most good for their communities. Food pantries all across New England received donations this year, including Merrimack Valley Food Bank in Lowell, MA, Sharing Cupboard Food Pantry in West Brookfield, MA, the Franklin County Community Meals Program, the Weymouth Food Pantry, Beverly Bootstraps in Beverly, MA, SHARE in Milford, NH, and the Rhode Island Community Food Bank.

Some agencies were inspired to go even farther with their giving. “The nice part of this for our agency and staff is that we were able to make Let’s Drive Out Hunger part of our Christmas giving program,” said Thomas Bagley III, President of Anderson, Bagley & Mayo Insurance Agency, which donated to Ginny’s Helping Hand in Leominster, MA. “We agreed that our agency would also match our staff’s personal contributions - combined with Arbella's match, this resulted in a four-fold increase on every employee donation. The recipient organization was thrilled with the contributions, as they were much needed.”

The problem of food security is an increasingly prevalent issue across the Bay State area. A 2010 Greater Boston Food Bank study, which is updated every four years, reported that one in nine members of the Greater Boston community is at risk of hunger. Moreover, the agency reported a 23% increase in requests for food assistance since 2005.

Similarly, the Project Bread Status Report on Hunger in Massachusetts 2012 found that many of these food insecure households contain children who are not receiving adequate nutrition. In 2011, a staggering 18.1 percent of all Massachusetts children lived in food insecure households – a 43% percent increase since the start of the 2008 recession.

Let’s Drive Out Hunger is just one of several initiatives Arbella is leading to fight hunger and increase access to nutritious food for families and individuals in Massachusetts. Other projects with which Arbella is involved in the fight towards hunger include support of Father Bill’s and MainSpring, sponsorship of Interfaith Social Services (ISS) and employee and agent participation in Project Bread’s annual Walk for Hunger.

About the Arbella Insurance Group and the Arbella Insurance Group Charitable Foundation
Established in 1988, the Arbella Insurance Group (www.arbella.com) is a company with more than $600M in revenue with approximately $1B in assets, headquartered in Quincy, Massachusetts.  Arbella is a customer-focused regional property and casualty insurance company, providing personal and business insurance in Massachusetts and Connecticut, and business insurance in Rhode Island and New Hampshire. Arbella Insurance Group founded the Arbella Insurance Group Charitable Foundation in 2004.  The mission of the Foundation is to engage in activities and to support not-for-profit organizations that have a significant positive impact on the people and communities served by Arbella.