Since Unity Bank in Clinton, N.J., began volunteering with America’s Grow-A-Row (AGAR) in 2016, the $2.4 billion-asset community bank has helped harvest more than 1 million servings of produce for people facing food insecurity.

In 2016, Unity Bank officially entered a partnership with the Pittstown, N.J.-based nonprofit and last year donated $25,000 to AGAR’s 2022 Farm to Fork Volunteer Sponsorship program to help put more food on tables.

The produce that the volunteers help harvest from AGAR’s fields is donated to local food banks.

“Unity’s really involved in the community, which is one of the things that I love about working here,” said Crystal Rose, marketing director and first vice president of the bank and a trustee on the AGAR board. “I get to see not only the bank’s commitment financially … but I think there’s something to be said about the company sending employees out to do the hard work and help the organization.”

With branches in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, it was important for Unity to pick a nonprofit that meets the needs of all of the bank’s communities, Rosa said.

Rose emphasized that volunteering has been great for the bank, particularly from a teamwork perspective. “Often, it’s a way for employees from our different departments to interact together,” she said. “So you might have the CEO and a teller from the branch and someone else from finance or marketing on the team for the day.” —Tarra Willox