Bank of America kicks off campaign with $30,000 gift
Auburn, ME – Record numbers of Mainers are struggling to access enough food – a situation that will only become more dire as we enter the holiday season and long winter ahead. In an effort to provide nutritious food for the 15 percent of Maine households that face hunger, Good Shepherd Food Bank has set a goal of $200,000 for its 2013 Virtual Holiday Food Drive.
While many of us have the desire to give back to the community during the holiday season, often our busy schedules make it difficult to follow through on our good intentions. Good Shepherd Food Bank makes it easy to take part in a holiday food drive, right from your computer. By logging on to feedingmaine.org, you can choose from numerous food products at various giving levels.
This online food drive demonstrates to the donor just how far their financial gift to the Food Bank can stretch. For instance, with a $25 donation, the Food Bank can acquire 50 pounds of fresh produce for Maine families.
The Bank of America Charitable Foundation has helped kick off the annual campaign with a $30,000 grant. The Food Bank is asking people throughout Maine to give as generously as they can to help bring the total up to $200,000. Funds raised will help meet the increasing need for food assistance throughout the state.
“Hunger is a serious and pervasive issue in many communities throughout the country,” said Bill Williamson, Bank of America Maine president. “This grant to Good Shepherd Food Bank is part of the ongoing investments Bank of America is making to address the immediate critical needs, such as hunger, within Maine communities.”
Bank of America supports Feeding America and food banks across the country, including Good Shepherd Food Bank, during the holiday season with its annual Give A Meal campaign. Donations are collected online at bankofamerica.com/give and for every $1 donated, Bank of America donates $2. The campaign enables individuals to make a donation to Feeding America nationally or support a local food bank in their community, like Good Shepherd Food Bank.
Good Shepherd Food Bank’s partner agencies are reporting extremely high demand for food assistance this year. Clients are struggling with the challenges of winter, such as high heating costs. Food pantries and soup kitchens depend on the Food Bank at this time of year to stock up for additional meal programs and holiday food distributions.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reported in September that nearly 49 million Americans are unable to access adequate amounts of nutritious food. It is estimated that more than 200,000 Mainers are facing hunger, including 1 in 4 Maine children.
“It is evident from the recent statistics, and from what we hear from our partner agencies, that our help is needed now more than ever,” said Kristen Miale, president of Good Shepherd Food Bank. “For our neighbors who are struggling to put food on their tables each week, the upcoming holiday season and the long Maine winter pose an overwhelming burden.”
Miale also noted that, “many Maine families will face difficult choices in the weeks and months ahead – such as whether to heat their homes, or put food on the table. Preparing a special holiday meal will simply not be possible for some families. But if we work together, we can make sure all Maine families get the nutritious food they need this winter.”
For more information or to make a donation to the Virtual Holiday Food Drive, please visit www.feedingmaine.org.
For statistics on poverty and hunger, photos, or interview requests, please contact Clara Whitney at (207) 782-3554 x1166 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Good Shepherd Food Bank
As the largest hunger relief organization in Maine, Good Shepherd Food Bank provides for Mainers facing hunger by distributing nutritious food to 600 partner agencies across the state, including food pantries, meal sites, and youth programs. Together with its network, the Food Bank leads a statewide effort to combat the root causes of hunger by engaging in advocacy, nutrition education, and strategic partnerships. In 2012, the Food Bank distributed 13 million pounds of food to families, children, and seniors in need throughout Maine. Website: www.feedingmaine.org; Phone: (207) 782-3554; Facebook: www.facebook.com/feedingmaine; Twitter: www.twitter.com/feedingmaine.
About 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. Learn more at www.bankofamerica.com/about and follow us on Twitter at @BofA_Community.