Community Banks Collaborate on Fundraising Initiative to Benefit Local Food Pantries; Donate a Combined $45,000 to Start the Effort

Union Savings Bank, Savings Bank of Danbury, and Newtown Savings Bank take the lead in the “Feeding Our Neighbors Community Challenge.”

Danbury, CONN. (October 13, 2020)Union Savings Bank, Savings Bank of Danbury, and Newtown Savings Bank today announced a fundraising alliance titled “Feeding Our Neighbors Community Challenge” through which the banks have donated a total of $45,000, which will benefit the Danbury Food Collaborative.

The challenge idea came from the much-publicized banter between Danbury Mayor Mark Boughton and HBO Last Week Tonight host John Oliver, and Oliver’s pledge to donate $55,000 to local charities if the city’s sewage treatment plant carried his name.

“We saw an opportunity to build on Mr. Oliver’s donation to have a bigger impact in helping those in need,” said Cynthia C. Merkle, Union Savings Bank President and CEO. “With the financial services industry being a critical part of the foundation of our community, asking the banks to step-up first seemed achievable. Two phone calls later, we had $45,000 to seed this effort.”

Merkle said that she placed those telephone calls to Martin G. Morgado, President and CEO of the Savings Bank of Danbury, and Kenneth L. Weinstein, President and CEO, Newtown Savings Bank. The conversations were short as both bank presidents embraced the concept.

“The decision was an easy one,” said Morgado. “The City of Danbury has a long history of helping the less fortunate, and the banking community prides itself on giving back where it is needed the most and will have the greatest impact.”

Added Weinstein: “COVID-19 has permeated every aspect of our community and threatened access to some of our most basic needs. This effort will put food on tables that would have been bare going into the cold weather season and the holidays.”

The Danbury Food Collaborative consists of more than 24 agencies in the Danbury area including 14 food pantries and congregate meal programs, who are convened and supported by United Way of Western Connecticut. Some of these pantries are currently serving three times as many households as they were before COVID. In the month of July alone, these nonprofit organizations had 7,000 visits to their pantries, and according to 211 Counts Connecticut data, requests for information about food resources in Fairfield County went from 1,607 in May of 2019 to 23,900 in May of 2020.

Administration and distribution of the funds are being handled by the United Way of Western Connecticut. Individuals and businesses can donate to the “Feeding Our Neighbors Community Challenge” through the campaign portal at, which is hosted by the United Way of Western Connecticut.

Local food pantries that will benefit from donations to the “Feeding Our Neighbors Community Challenge” are:
Association of Religious Communities (ARC) • Bethel Food Pantry • Brookfield Social Services • Camella’s Cupboard • Catholic Charities – Morning Glory Breakfast Program • Community Action Agency of Western CT • Daily Bread Food Pantry • Hillside Food Outreach • Interfaith AIDS Ministry • Jericho Partnership • The Salvation Army • Victory Christian Center • Purple Heart Ministries • Walnut Hill Community Food Pantry

About Newtown Savings Bank
Newtown Savings Bank is a community bank headquartered in Newtown, Connecticut, with over $1.4 billion in assets. Since 1855, the Bank has been deeply invested in the customers and communities that it serves. The Bank has 14 branches in Newtown, Bethel, Brookfield, Danbury, Monroe, Oxford, Shelton, Southbury, Trumbull and Woodbury, along with the New Haven Regional Lending Center in Hamden, CT. For more information and location details visit or call 800.461.0672. Newtown Savings Bank. The Power of Local.

About Savings Bank of Danbury
Established in 1849 and headquartered at 220 Main Street, Danbury, Savings Bank of Danbury is a mutual savings bank with assets in excess of $1 billion. Savings Bank of Danbury has 15 branch offices in Bethel, Brookfield, Danbury, New Fairfield, New Milford, Newtown, Southbury, Stamford, and Waterbury. Stamford Mortgage Company, a division of Savings Bank of Danbury, has a local office on Summer Street in Stamford. Savings Bank of Danbury is committed to serving their community.

About Union Savings Bank
Established in 1866 and headquartered in Danbury, Conn., Union Savings Bank is a $2.7 billion mutual bank dedicated to being the bank of choice. As a full-service financial institution, Union Savings Bank provides banking, mortgage, investment, trust and insurance products throughout western Connecticut with 25 offices in Bethel, Brookfield, Canton, Danbury, Goshen, Kent, Litchfield, Marble Dale, Monroe, New Fairfield, New Milford, Newtown, Ridgefield, Roxbury, Southbury, Torrington and Washington Depot. The bank provides financial services to individuals, businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and government entities through its commercial, residential and consumer lending, corporate services, retail banking and wealth management divisions. Please visit for more information. Member FDIC. Equal Housing Lender.

Community Relations Contact:
Michele Bonvicini
Union Savings Bank

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