A match offer from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation proved to be the motivating factor in nearly $1 million in personal financial contributions – from more than 8,000 donors across the country – and helped to provide more than 26 million meals this holiday season through Feeding America's "Give A Meal" campaign.
The campaign was launched this past holiday season and proved to be an overwhelming success. The program was a collective effort to fight the pressing issue of hunger in large and small communities through combined personal donations via Feeding America and Bank of America websites.
As the campaign's signature partner, Bank of America, through its Gift for Opportunity fund, contributed $2 for every $1 donated via feedingamerica.org/BankofAmerica or bankofamerica.com/give. Combined with Bank of America's initial $1 million donation to Feeding America at the outset of the campaign, the successful outcome is a final donation of $2.5 million towards hunger-relief in the United States.
At a time when many individuals and families are struggling to put food on the table, the opportunity for donors to contribute funds locally to food banks, and extend this support through the company's matching donation, helped motivate and increase donations to the fight against hunger.
Jennifer Mason, who owns the Best Ink Store in Virginia Beach, Virginia, has given to her local food bank (the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia) in the past, but when she saw the chance to more than double her donation; she immediately jumped on the opportunity.
"The Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia serves one in four people in our community who do not know where their next meal is coming from. As a supporter of the food bank, I wanted to leverage my gift of $5,000 and activate Bank of America's matching donation to generate more revenue to the food bank in support of their programs to feed the hungry," she said.
Similar stories of motivated donors were heard from across Feeding America's network of more than 200 member food banks nationwide.
"With one in nine residents in eastern Massachusetts now at risk of hunger, we are grateful to Bank of America's efforts to help The Greater Boston Food Bank end hunger in our community," said Catherine D'Amato, President and CEO, The Greater Boston Food Bank. "Their support not only helped to raise additional funds, but also helped to raise more awareness around the critical issue of hunger in America. With their help, we can end hunger here."
Bank of America's support of the "Give A Meal" campaign stems from its longstanding commitment to serve pressing needs in the communities it serves. "Give A Meal" provided an opportunity to engage individuals – on a local level –to help fight hunger in the United States.
"We are thrilled with the response to the Gift for Opportunity fund, and more importantly we are pleased that a significant number of families in need will have access to meals thanks to the generous contributions of individuals across the country," said Kerry Sullivan, president of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation. "With nearly 49 million people in America struggling with hunger, we continue to look for meaningful ways to be part of the solution to help those at risk of hunger and other critical needs."
Along with Bank of America, a number of other corporate partners, such as Dillard's, HMSHost, HoneyBaked Ham, and Winn-Dixie teamed up with Feeding America for the initiative. Emmy Award winning talk show host Rachael Ray, celebrity Chef Mario Batali, host of ABC's The Chew, Australian chef and television star Curtis Stone, rock sensations Benji and Joel Madden, Entertainment Tonight correspondent Samantha Harris, Grammy Award winning singer Monica, Food Network star Ellie Krieger, chef and TV host Sara Gore, TV food critic and host Katie Lee, Extra Virgin husband and wife hosts actress Debi Mazar and chef Gabriele Corcos, and the platinum selling band OneRepublic also lent their name to the effort.
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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.