Fifth Third commits $175,000 to address effects of COVID-19 in West Michigan

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., May 13, 2020 – Fifth Third today announced $175,000 in philanthropic commitments to help address the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic in West Michigan. The funds from the Fifth Third Foundation will be deployed to meet the immediate needs of the following organizations: Feeding America West Michigan, Greater Lansing Food Bank, South Michigan Food Bank, Cherry Health and Mel Trotter Ministries.

“Everyone has felt the impact of this pandemic in one way or another, but we’re especially concerned about the most vulnerable members of our community who may be disproportionately affected,” said Tom Welch, president of Fifth Third Bank. “We want to reach as many people as possible as we focus on strengthening families and building a stronger community right now.”

  • Feeding America West Michigan, Greater Lansing Food Bank and South Michigan Food Bank will provide more than 425,000 meals through their networks of more than 1,085 hunger-relief agencies.
  • Cherry Health will continue to offer patients access to comprehensive health care, including connecting thousands across their seven-county service area to testing and treatment, counseling and psychiatry, plus helping people facing unemployment to transition to new aspects of healthcare.
  • Mel Trotter plans to use the funds to support increased operating costs including the hiring of six staff from closed restaurants to operate their kitchen due to the volunteer shortage.

Cherry Health is encouraged by this leadership gift from Fifth Third Bank Foundation. With these funds, our team can offer our patients access to comprehensive health care for which we are known,” said Tasha Blackmon, CEO Cherry Health. “This generous financial support was put to work immediately: inspiring other community leaders to give, connecting thousands across our 7-county service area to testing and treatment, access to counseling and psychiatry, plus transitioning many facing unemployment to new aspects of healthcare.”

The West Michigan donations to the five organizations is part of the $8.75 million commitment that is being funded by the Fifth Third Foundation and the Fifth Third Chicagoland Foundation, which was announced on March 20. Among the areas to be funded:

Relief Funds:

  • $3.25 million for COVID-19 response needs in the regions served by Fifth Third Bank.

Recovery & Resiliency Funds:

  • $5.5 million in Strengthening our Communities Fund grants to support the long-term sustainability of our economy. This includes funding to support small businesses, affordable housing and homeownership, and economic development.

This $8.75 million commitment of philanthropic funds are in addition to actions already taken by Fifth Third Bank to immediately assist customers in the wake of the pandemic. For information, visit


About Fifth Third Foundation

Established in 1948, the Fifth Third Foundation was one of the first charitable foundations created by a financial institution. The Fifth Third Foundation supports worthy causes in the areas of health and human services, education, community development and the arts in the states where Fifth Third Bank operates.

About Feeding America West Michigan

Serving local families in need since 1981, Feeding America West Michigan reclaims safe surplus food from farmers, manufacturers, distributors and retailers. That food is distributed through a network of more than 800 food pantries, soup kitchens, shelters and other hunger-relief agencies in 40 of Michigan’s 83 counties from the Indiana border through the Upper Peninsula. For more information, visit or call 616-784-3250.