Feeding America (formerly named America's Second Harvest), the nation's largest domestic hunger relief organization, announced today that the Bank of America Charitable Foundation has donated $1 million to help provide food and groceries to the dramatically increasing number of hungry people in the U.S.
Feeding America released a report yesterday that documented a stunning surge in the number of Americans seeking emergency food assistance for the first time in the past year. Demand at Feeding America's food banks increased an average of 30 percent in a single year, with many food banks reporting even higher increases. Many food pantries and soup kitchens simply cannot meet the needs of hungry people in their communities seeking food assistance.
A large portion of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation's grant will be distributed to food banks that provide food and groceries to hundreds of food pantries, soup kitchens, Kids Cafes, senior meal programs and other emergency feeding programs throughout the nation.
Feeding America president and CEO Vicki Escarra said,"A new survey of low-income Americans shows that our hunger crisis has grown dramatically. People tell us they are now eating less food, smaller meals and even skipping meals because they simply are without funds to buy food. Bank of America has recognized the tremendous strain many Americans face as a result of the economic downturn. We are extraordinarily grateful for this generous donation from Bank of America."
"Bank of America remains focused on providing relevant, meaningful support to help individuals and families navigate difficult times," said Andrew D. Plepler, Global Community Impact Executive and President of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation."Ensuring vulnerable populations have access to basic services is a critical component to revitalizing our nation's economy. Our partnership with Feeding America will help support their efforts to provide food and groceries to the 36 million Americans who are having enormous difficulty making ends meet."
Bank of America is a longstanding supporter of food banks across the country, having donated more than $900,000 and provided nearly 4,000 employee volunteer hours this year alone in addition to this $1 million grant. Bank of America plans to expand its employee volunteer efforts supporting this cause and will announce specific plans to that end in early 2009.
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About Feeding America
Feeding America® is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, we provide meals to more than 40 million people each year. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and 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. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.
Bank of America Corporate Philanthropy
Building on a long-standing tradition of investing in the communities it serves, Bank of America will embark in 2009 on a new, ten-year goal to donate $2 billion to nonprofit organizations engaged in improving the health and vitality of their neighborhoods. Bank of America approaches giving through a national strategy called "neighborhood excellence" under which it works with local leaders to identify and meet the most pressing needs of individual communities. Through Team Bank of America, bank associate volunteers contributed more than 650,000 hours in 2007 to enhance the quality of life in their communities nationwide. For more information about Bank of America Corporate Philanthropy, please visit www.bankofamerica.com/foundation.