Participants in the Bank of America Chicago Marathon may not realize it, but they’re actually part of a special ‘relay’ happening on marathon day. The Greater Chicago Food Depository (GCFD) collects food items that go unconsumed by marathon runners and spectators, and relays them to the hungry across the Chicago area.
Since the late 1980s, Bank of America has supported the GCFD’s mission to provide food for hungry people while striving to end hunger in the city’s communities. The organization feeds approximately 678,000 individuals in the Chicago area each year through a network of more than 650 partner agencies across Cook County.
In 2006, the bank and the depository extended their partnership to the marathon. “What’s great about this donation is that it’s really healthy food,” said Kate Maehr, CEO of the GCFD. “From bananas to oranges and assorted beverages, the marathon helps us fill a huge need as we look for ways to serve our network.”
“Fast” Food Delivery
In the six years it has received donations from the Bank of America Chicago Marathon, the GCFD has collected more than 180,000 pounds of food for distribution across the city. The positive impact can be seen in the community almost immediately, said Maehr. “The food we pick up after the race directly begins to flow out to our partner agencies the next morning and directly into the hands of the people in Chicago who need it.”
From financial contributions to food drives to volunteer hours, Bank of America’s commitment to the GCFD is woven throughout the company, said Peter Johnson, a GCFD board member and Managing Director, Global Head of the Futures & Options and OTC Clearing Business at Bank of America. “Bank of America has done a great job infusing a spirit of giving back throughout our organization,” he said.
Healthy Communities, Healthy Futures
The Bank of America Chicago Marathon partnership is significant for the GCFD. “The opportunity to be part of something that is so great for our city makes us feel honored and privileged,” said Maehr. “Every day, the support we receive from Bank of America ensures that children have the potential to grow up and live their dreams. If their dream is to run the marathon, they have that at their fingertips because of the quality, nutritious food that they received with the help of the bank’s contributions.”
Johnson agrees. “It’s great to be able to connect a great event like the Bank of America Chicago Marathon to a non-profit partner that provides a critical need in feeding individuals and families that may be affected by hunger on a daily basis. It’s a tremendous opportunity to get the word out about the criticality of the Greater Chicago Food Depository’s mission.”