The Bank of America Charitable Foundation today announced it will provide nearly $22 million in grants to over 1,000 nonprofits across the U.S. that address immediate critical needs, such as hunger and shelter, to longer-term solutions that promote financial wellness through access to benefits and resources.
The majority of grants will support nonprofits serving low-income communities that have been disproportionately affected by the economic downturn, with over half of the funding to help meet the growing demands for assistance in hunger relief and shelter. More than 50 million Americans face hunger according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the average length of stay in shelters has been steadily increasing. Grants have also been directed to support longer-term needs that connect people to benefits access and financial assistance programs, such as case management, access to credit repair, income tax filing assistance and budget counseling.
"Too many families are forced to choose between paying bills and feeding their family," said Kerry Sullivan, president of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation. "Helping individuals and families connect to programs and services that meet their immediate needs and enable them to gain financial stability is vital to the economic health of our country, and we're pleased to partner with local and national nonprofits that are helping people get back on their feet and move ahead."
In response to the need for hunger relief in communities large and small, Bank of America has partnered with Feeding America, the largest domestic provider of hunger relief, through a combination of philanthropic support, volunteerism and customer engagement. As part of its funding for critical needs, the Foundation is supporting Feeding America and its network of more than 200 local food banks and food rescue organizations to meet the growing domestic demand for food. This past holiday season, Bank of America was the exclusive partner with Feeding America's Give A Meal program, which provides meals to families in need. In addition to a direct contribution, the bank provided a two-to-one match on individual donations up to a total match of $1.5 million, collectively raising funds for more than 26 million meals for the hungry.
For low- to moderate-income families, making the most of every dollar is a necessity. Bank of America is providing more than $7 million to 129 local United Ways to provide support including comprehensive financial wellness programs that will help people maximize their earnings, including earned income tax credit preparation, financial coaching and connecting people to financial services like free checking accounts and savings programs. These grants build on the company's long-time partnership with United Way Worldwide, including its lead support in establishing the national financial stability partnership.
In addition to the company's financial support, Bank of America employees volunteer and donate money to help strengthen communities. Last year, employees provided around 100,000 volunteer hours in activities such as packing food, building affordable housing and teaching financial literacy, and pledged $21.5 million to critical needs through Bank of America's United Way Campaign.
Supporting nonprofits addressing critical needs is one component of the company's community focus on housing, jobs and hunger - three areas that are vital to stimulating the national economic recovery. From January 22, 2013 through February 15, 2013, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation will accept grant applications from nonprofits working on workforce development and education and will issue a similar request related to housing later this year. For more information on the request for proposals, eligibility criteria or to submit an application, please visit www.bankofamerica.com/foundation.
Bank of America Corporate Social Responsibility
Bank of America's commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a strategic part of doing business globally. Our CSR efforts guide how we operate in a socially, economically, financially and environmentally responsible way around the world, to deliver for shareholders, customers, clients and employees. Our goal is to help create economically vibrant regions and communities through lending, investing and giving. By partnering with our stakeholders, we create value that empowers individuals and communities to thrive and contributes to the long-term success of our business. We have several core areas of focus for our CSR, including responsible business practices; environmental sustainability; strengthening local communities with a focus on housing, hunger and jobs; investing in global leadership development; and engaging through arts and culture. As part of these efforts, employee volunteers across the company contribute their time, passion and expertise to address issues in communities where they live and work.www.bankofamerica.com/about and follow us on Twitter at @BofA_Community.
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Reporters May Contact:
Nicole Nastacie, Bank of America, 1.980.388.7252