Gift is the Largest Donation Ever Made in Support of Feeding America's SNAP Outreach Efforts
CHICAGO, Nov. 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Feeding America, the nation's largest hunger-relief organization, today announced a $1 million donation from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation to support Feeding America's efforts to connect low-income Americans with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly named the Food Stamp Program. The funds will be used to help Feeding America food banks improve access and provide pre-screening and application assistance for low-income clients seeking emergency food assistance who are eligible for SNAP but not participating.
The announcement comes on the heels of a report, Reaching Those in Need: State Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program Participation Rates in 2007, released yesterday by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) indicating that in 2007, only 66 percent of people who were eligible for SNAP received benefits. State-by-state participation rates varied from 42 percent to 100 percent.
"On behalf of the 25 million people that the Feeding America network serves, I am deeply grateful to Bank of America for its tremendous generosity," said Vicki Escarra, president and CEO of Feeding America. "This donation will enable food banks to connect the millions of people who visit emergency shelters, food pantries and soup kitchens across the nation who are eligible for SNAP benefits but unaware they are eligible for the program or not participating because of other barriers. We believe the majority of people who are eligible for the program but not participating are seeking food assistance from an agency served by our Network.
"In light of the recent current economic downturn, and consequently a significant increase in the number of people who are in need of help, SNAP outreach is one of the most important things we can do to ensure that no American goes to bed hungry at night," continued Escarra.
"Ensuring vulnerable populations have access to basic services is a critical component to revitalizing our nation's economy," said Kerry Sullivan, President, Bank of America Charitable Foundation. "Bank of America's focus on providing meaningful support to the communities we serve has never been more important. As an increasing number of families across our country are affected by events beyond their control, we are proud to support Feeding America in their efforts to reduce hunger and ensure low-income families have access to this important anti-hunger support system."
Bank of America is a longtime supporter of the Feeding America network and in addition to this grant, provided over $2.5 million to Feeding America and our member food banks in the past year. More than 1,200 Bank of America associates donated nearly 3,700 hours to the Feeding America network over the past year.
About Feeding America( )
Feeding America provides low-income individuals and families with the fuel to survive and even thrive. As the nation's leading domestic hunger-relief charity, our network members supply food to more than 25 million Americans each year, including 9 million children and 3 million seniors. Serving the entire United States, more than 200 member food banks support 63,000 agencies that address hunger in all of its forms. For more information on how you can fight hunger in your community and across the country, visit http://www.feedingamerica.org. Find us on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/FeedingAmerica or follow our news on Twitter at http://twitter.com/Feedingamerica
About Bank of America Corporate Philanthropy
Building on a long-standing tradition of investing in the communities it serves, Bank of America this year embarked on a new, ten-year goal to donate $2 billion to nonprofit organizations engaged in improving the health and vitality of their neighborhoods. Funded by Bank of America, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation gave more than $200 million in 2008, making the bank the most generous financial institution in the world and the second largest donor of all U.S. corporations in cash contributions. Bank of America approaches investing through a national strategy called "neighborhood excellence" under which it works with local leaders to identify and meet the most pressing needs of individual communities. Bank associate volunteers contributed more than 900,000 hours in 2008 to enhance the quality of life in their communities nationwide. For more information about Bank of America Corporate Philanthropy, please visit www.bankofamerica.com/foundation.
SOURCE Feeding America