As part of an ongoing effort to address critical economic and social issues in the communities it serves, Bank of America today launched the"Gift for Opportunity" fund, a nationwide program that extends the combined charitable giving of customers and associates through a corporate match. During times throughout the year, Bank of America plans to activate the"Gift for Opportunity" fund to support a variety of critical community needs important to both the bank and its customers.
In its first use of the newly established fund and to coincide with the holidays, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation is contributing $1 million to support Feeding America, the nation's leading hunger-relief organization, and Boys & Girls Clubs of America, whose network of 4,000 clubs provide a safe place for children to obtain healthy meals.
In addition to its own contribution, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation will match every donation made to the"Gift for Opportunity" fund through January 15, 2011 up to a maximum additional contribution of $1 million, extending the impact of customer and associate donations made to help address the growing demand for food assistance in both large and small communities during a critical time of the year.
"As an increasing number of families across the country are affected by the slow economic recovery, it is essential to support efforts to ensure these vulnerable populations have access to basic services," said Kerry Sullivan, president of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation."With the creation of the 'Gift for Opportunity' fund, Bank of America is teaming up with our customers and associates to amplify the impact of our combined charitable donations – allowing Feeding America and Boys & Girls Clubs the opportunity and resources to address the growing issue of food insecurity."
Bank of America is a longtime supporter of both organizations and the donation is in addition to the combined $17 million that the Foundation has directed to these nonprofit partners and their networks since 2008. Bank of America associates have also volunteered more than 20,000 hours with these partners and their networks this year, and will volunteer additional hours during the holiday season as part of the company's previously announced pledge to donate one million associate volunteer hours in 2010.
The Bank of America"Gift for Opportunity" fund is administered through the Bank of America Charitable Gift Fund, a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donating to the fund is simple. Anyone may contribute at any of Bank of America's 5,900 banking centers across the country or by visiting www.bankofamerica.com/give.
Hunger remains an alarming issue throughout the United States. According to a recent report by the USDA, 50 million or one in six Americans continue to be at risk of experiencing food insecurity. The Feeding America network of 200 food banks are annually providing food to 37 million Americans, including 14 million children; that represents an increase of 46 percent over 2006 levels when 25 million Americans relied on the organization for food.
"Partnering with Bank of America enables us to help more people in the fight to end hunger," said Vicki Escarra, president and CEO of Feeding America."Hunger continues to be a widespread problem in America, and every day thousands of people go without food. But with the support from others, we can ensure that many more individuals and families get the nourishment they need."
"We are very grateful for the support from Bank of America and donors to the 'Gift for Opportunity' fund," said Roxanne Spillett, president and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of America."The donations will help us reach greater numbers of young people through our food program and nutrition programs like Kids Cafe, and support the basic essentials and skills they need to thrive."
For more information about the Bank of America"Gift for Opportunity" fund, visit www.bankofamerica.com/give.
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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.