An estimated 38 million people suffered from food insecurity in the United States during 2020, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. And as the COVID pandemic continues on, hunger relief organizations are facing an increased demand for their services, while battling against rising food prices.
Feeding Tampa Bay, part of the national Feeding America network, focuses on providing food to nearly 1 million food insecure families in the 10-county area of West Central Florida. Including 13 active Hernando agencies with more to come.
Now the organization that helps so many is receiving some much needed help of its own. On February 9th, according to information provided by Shannon Hannon Oliviero at Feeding Tampa Bay, Bank of America awarded Feeding Tampa Bay a $145,000 grant to address food insecurity in the region and donated 100,000 face masks. The check presentation took place at a bank employee volunteer event at Feeding Tampa Bay, located at 4702 Transport Drive in Tampa. Representatives from Feeding Tampa Bay and Bank of America discussed this initiative, which both supports the overall health of the community while also ensuring that local food banks are adequately resourced.
Bank of America’s investment is a continuation of its long-standing partnership with Feeding Tampa Bay. Since 2010, the bank has awarded more than $725,000 to the organization and has dedicated hundreds of hours through extensive volunteer efforts.
Nationally, Bank of America is donating $10.6 million to food banks and hunger relief organizations across the country on behalf of bank employees who got their booster shots and notified the bank before January 31, 2022. The bank made an additional local contribution to address the increased need experienced by hunger relief organizations.
Bill Goede, President, Bank of America Tampa Bay, regards this gift as a boon to area families. “Food insecurity existed before the pandemic, the pandemic only made it worse. Organizations like Feeding Tampa Bay are tasked with addressing this growing concern. We’ve had a partnership for over a decade and we needed to take this partnership. We need to help you address your needs, and help the community address their needs,” he stated.
Feeding America board chair member Mark Spencer, also a Bank of America executive, sees this gift as a much needed boost during troubled times. “This gift will go a long way to help so many families who need these resources, who through this difficult time with Covid, have experienced economic hardship,” he said.
Thomas Mantz, President & CEO, Feeding Tampa Bay, expressed immense gratitude for the help on behalf of those who he helps. “Someone who has a meal at their table tonight will have you to thank,” he told his guests.