At a time when more and more Americans rely on local food banks for assistance, Feeding America, the nation's largest hunger-relief organization, announced a $5 million donation from Chase today. The bank's donation will be used to purchase and operate 34 trucks, including 13 mobile pantries, to deliver fresh and nutritious products to communities hit hard by the recession.
The trucks' destinations include Feeding America network food banks in 19 cities and local communities nationwide. With the new trucks, food banks can distribute over 40 million meals annually.
"JPMorgan Chase has been a great supporter of Feeding America and our network food banks. We are very fortunate to have such a committed and action-oriented partner in the fight against hunger," said Vicki Escarra, president and CEO of Feeding America."An unprecedented 49 million Americans do not always know where they will get their next meal. These 34 new trucks will allow food banks to secure and distribute food to the people in communities across the nation that need it the most.
"This grant reflects our desire to strategically build capacity across Feeding America's network of food banks by helping our highest-need communities harvest food that might otherwise simply go to waste," said Kimberly Davis, president of the JPMorgan Chase Foundation."We hope this gift materially strengthens the infrastructure we have in place to put nutritious food on the tables of many more hungry families.
JPMorgan Chase has given nearly $14 million to help food bank and hunger related programs over the past 10 years, including this donation. Chase's donation to Feeding America will cover the costs of purchasing and operating food delivery trucks in the following communities:
Ft. Worth, Texas
In 2008, 49 million Americans --or 1 in 6--struggled with hunger, including nearly 17 million children, according to the latest report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). This is a 36 percent increase from the previous year when 36.2 million Americans, a 1 in 8 ratio, lacked enough food.
According to Feeding America, national socio-economic factors such as the escalating unemployment rate and the number of working poor indicate the rise will continue in the new year. A research study conducted by Feeding America in September shows that its network food banks experienced an average increase in need of nearly 30 percent this year. While the numbers vary geographically, some food banks report increases of more than 50 percent in requests for emergency food assistance over a year prior.
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Feeding America is the nationwide network of 200 food banks that leads the fight against hunger in the United States. Together, we provide food to more than 46 million people through 60,000 food pantries and meal programs in communities across America. Feeding America also supports programs that improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Individuals, charities, businesses and government all have a role in ending hunger. Donate. Volunteer. Advocate. Educate. Together we can solve hunger. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.