Bank of America announced a $1 million donation to combat food insecurity in local communities. Through this initiative Bank of America is donating $425,000 each to City Harvest and Food Bank For New York City and $150,000 to Feeding Westchester. The number of New Yorkers experiencing food insecurity surged during the pandemic and remains at historic highs. More than 1.5 million people across New York City and Westchester County are currently food insecure, including one in four children. As the pandemic continues, hunger relief organizations continue to face challenges such as increased demand for their services and rising food prices.
Earlier this year, Bank of America announced* it would make a $100 donation to local hunger relief organizations for each employee in New York City who received a CoViD-19 booster shot or vaccine and notified the bank before the end of January. The company then made an additional contribution to address the increased need experienced by hunger relief organizations across the country.
“Throughout the five boroughs and Westchester County, food insecurity is a barrier to economic mobility that has been exacerbated by the ongoing pandemic,” said Jose Tavarez, President, Bank of America New York City. “This initiative is further demonstration of Bank of America’s unwavering commitment to strengthening the communities we serve by partnering with nonprofit organizations addressing issues fundamental to the health and wellbeing of the city.”
Since the beginning of the pandemic, City Harvest has rescued and delivered more than 250 million pounds of food to soup kitchens, food pantries, community partners, and their own Mobile Markets across the five boroughs. The Bank of America initiative will help City Harvest rescue and deliver more than 1.2 million pounds of food for New Yorkers in need.
“Even before the pandemic, more than two million New Yorkers were struggling to afford necessities like food and rent,” said Jilly Stephens, CEO of City Harvest. “The pandemic’s economic fallout has made our city’s food insecurity crisis even worse, especially in low-income communities and communities of color. We know that it takes a city to feed a city, and we deeply appreciate Bank of America’s commitment to feeding New Yorkers in need.”
At the height of the pandemic, Food Bank For New York City reported a 91% increase in first-time visitors. In response, Food Bank For New York City established Community Response Partners and Mobile Food Pantries to serve neighborhoods where food deserts emerged due to CoViD-19. “Together with our community, government and corporate partners, we distributed 121 million meals last year to those in need, a new Food Bank record,” said Leslie Gordon, President and CEO, Food Bank For New York City. “The generosity of our local partners is critical for keeping our programs nimble and running. Thank you, Bank of America, for joining us in the fight to end food insecurity.” As a result of the booster initiative, Food Bank For New York City will be able to provide approximately 1.7 million meals to individuals and families throughout NYC.
As the need for food grew and resources shrunk, Feeding Westchester mobilized to provide nearly 18.4 million meals to neighbors who found themselves in need of assistance for the very first time during the pandemic. “To keep pace with Westchester County’s rising need for food, we formed new relationships with emergency partners and looked for an innovative way to safely distribute food to our local community,” said Karen C. Erren, President and CEO, Feeding Westchester. “This challenge spurred our first-ever drive-thru distribution operation at our Elmsford, NY facility, where we served over 500 families. With the support of Bank of America, we will be able to continue serving nearly 220,000 Westchester residents each month.”
Nationally, the bank has committed $10.6 million dollars to food banks and hunger relief organizations through this initiative. Since 2015, Bank of America has donated nearly $150 million toward hunger relief efforts.
* Bank of America committed to donating a minimum of $25,000 in each of the company’s 93 markets to local nonprofit partners as part of its vaccine booster effort. Because vaccination boosters and reporting are voluntary and additional company contributions are reflected in the final amount, actual donation amounts differ from the number of boosters reported by bank employees.
About City Harvest
City Harvest is New York’s first and largest food rescue organization, helping to feed millions of New Yorkers who struggle to put meals on their tables. As the city emerges from the CoViD-19 pandemic, we will rescue 111 million pounds of fresh, nutritious food and deliver it—free of charge—to nearly 400 food pantries, soup kitchens, community partners, and our own Mobile Markets® across the five boroughs. We work alongside our community partners to boost community capacity, expand nutrition education, and strengthen local food systems. For more than 35 years, City Harvest has always been there to feed our city—one day, one meal, one New Yorker at a time. To learn more, please visit cityharvest.org.
About Food Bank For New York City
Since 1983, Food Bank For New York City has been the city’s major hunger-relief organization working to end hunger throughout the five boroughs. Nearly one in five New Yorkers relies on Food Bank for food and other resources. Food Bank takes a strategic, multifaceted approach that provides meals and builds capacity in the neediest communities, while raising awareness and engagement among all New Yorkers. Through its network of over 800 member organizations citywide, Food Bank provided more than 120 million free meals last year for New Yorkers in need. Food Bank For New York City’s income support services, including SNAP (formerly known as Food Stamps) and free tax assistance for the working poor, put nearly $36 million each year into the pockets of New Yorkers, helping them to afford food and achieve greater dignity and independence. Food Bank’s nutrition education programs and services empower more than 50,000 children, teens and adults to sustain a healthy diet and active lifestyle on a limited budget. Working toward long-term solutions to food poverty, Food Bank develops policy and conducts research to inform community and government efforts. To learn more about how you can help, please visit foodbanknyc.org. Follow us on Facebook (FoodBank4NYC), Twitter (@FoodBank4NYC) and Instagram (@FoodBank4NYC).
About Feeding WestchesterFeeding Westchester is the county’s largest nonprofit hunger-relief organization at the heart of a network of 225 community partners and meal programs. With a mission to nourish their neighbors in the fight against hunger, the organization sources and distributes good, nutritious food and other resources throughout every community in Westchester County.
In 2021, Feeding Westchester delivered 19 million pounds of food or 15.8 million meals through soup kitchens, food pantries, schools, shelters, residential programs, and mobile distributions. The nonprofit is committed to creating a community where all people have access to the food they need today, and the fundamental resources to build a better tomorrow.
Feeding Westchester is located at 200 Clearbrook Road, Elmsford, NY 10523. For more information, please visit feedingwestchester.org.
About Bank of America
At Bank of America, we’re guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better, through the power of every connection. We’re delivering on this through responsible growth with a focus on our environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership. ESG is embedded across our eight lines of business and reflects how we help fuel the global economy, build trust and credibility, and represent a company that people want to work for, invest in and do business with. It’s demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our clients, and the impact we make around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with nonprofits and advocacy groups, such as community, consumer and environmental organizations, to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact. Learn more at about.bankofamerica.com, and connect with us on Twitter @BofA_News.
For more Bank of America news, including dividend announcements and other important information, register for news e-mail alerts.