As the coronavirus continues to impact individuals, families and communities, urgent needs are emerging, both economic and health related. The demand for food assistance is increasing exponentially, including from those who have never needed it before. This need is occurring just as coronavirus-related disruptions are hitting the food supply chain. Meanwhile, coronavirus cases risk overwhelming local health care resources and put pressure on hospitals, clinics and other health care providers that offer services to vulnerable populations.
An additional $100 million commitment from Bank of America seeks to increase access to food and medical supplies in local communities.
To help address the impacts from the virus, Bank of America has committed $100 million in philanthropic grants, with an immediate focus on health and humanitarian needs, such as food insecurity, the ability of the medical system to respond, and support of vulnerable populations. The majority of the $100 million will be distributed on the ground in local markets. This is in addition to the $250 million in philanthropy we provide each year. In particular, the bank is working with local partners on critical community needs in food insecurity and medical capacity:
- In New York City, Citymeals on Wheels and City Harvest have each received grants of $1 million for their work to provide food for vulnerable populations, including senior citizens. Citymeals helps purchase, package and deliver shelf-stable emergency meals for New Yorkers age 60 and above. City Harvest will rescue 66 million pounds of food this year and deliver it, free of charge, to hundreds of food pantries, soup kitchens and other community partners across the city’s five boroughs.
- In Orlando, Florida, a $200,000 grant will help Second Harvest Food Bank (SHFB) of Central Florida collect and distribute donated food, with a goal of providing 15 million meals in the next 90 days for at-risk children, families and seniors.
- In Kansas City, a $100,000 grant will help repurpose five restaurants into community kitchens. The Community Meals Project, a new initiative to feed displaced workers from the hospitality industry, first responders, healthcare workers and seniors, will serve an estimated 1,500 meals daily at the community kitchens.
- In Los Angeles, Bank of America is supporting the California Hospital Medical Center with a $300,000 grant. The medical center serves at risk-populations in central Los Angeles, with a special focus on the city’s large homeless population. The grant will help the nonprofit increase testing for the coronavirus, provide equipment to serve L.A.’s homeless population and collaborate with homeless shelters and emergency soup kitchens to provide critical health services for individuals in need.
- In Silicon Valley, the bank funded 20 ventilators through a $500,000 grant to the Silicon Valley Leadership Group Foundation, which is responding to the immediate need for vital medical equipment for health care providers to serve their patients.
- A $500,000 grant to the Advocate Healthcare Charitable Foundation will support 12 hospitals in the Chicago area, providing assistance to 400 sites and 70,000 physicians, nurses and team members. This funding is helping provide equipment and supplies, such as masks, hand sanitizer and eye protection for health care workers and their families.
As the coronavirus continues to have a wide-reaching effect across the world, these needs will remain critical. Learn more about how Bank of America is helping the communities it serves here.
Originally published 4/29/20