Bank of America Issues 'Hits for Hunger' Challenge to MLB All-Stars During 80th Midsummer Classic, Pledges $5,000 for Every Recorded Hit to Benefit Feeding America
July 7, 2009 — When Major League Baseball All-Stars step to the plate during the 80th Midsummer Classic, they will have an added incentive to produce hits. In response to the growing need for emergency food assistance nationwide, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation will donate $5,000 for every recorded hit in the MLB All-Star Game to Feeding America, the nation's leading hunger-relief organization.
Bank of America's "Hits for Hunger" program also allows MLB fans to get involved and help support Americans at risk of hunger. Fans can log on to http://www.feedingamerica.org/ and make their own contribution to help provide food to people across the country. The Bank of America Charitable Foundation will make the $5,000 per hit contributions and match the total online donations made to Feeding America during the July 14 MLB All-Star Game, up to a maximum contribution of $100,000. Funds generated through "Hits for Hunger" will directly benefit the St. Louis Area Foodbank, one of the 206 food banks in Feeding America's network. The 2009 Major League Baseball All-Star Game is focused on supporting charitable initiatives and celebrating community service.
"Bank of America's support could not come at a better time," said Frank Finnegan, executive director, St. Louis Area Foodbank. "Over the past year, we've seen more than a 15% increase in the need for food from the agencies we support. Whether it's the people who have sought assistance before or the many new faces needing aid, we're going to need help sustaining our efforts to get food on the table over the long haul."
Bank of America's "Hits for Hunger" program builds upon the Bank of America Charitable Foundation's recent $1 million donation to Feeding America. According to a recent survey released by Feeding America, demand at Feeding America's food banks increased an average of 30-percent since last year, with many food banks reporting even higher increases. The survey also found that people are eating less food, smaller meals and even skipping meals because they simply are without funds to buy food. A large portion of the bank's grant was distributed to food banks that provide food and groceries to hundreds of food pantries, soup kitchens, Kids Cafes, senior meal programs and other emergency feeding programs throughout the nation.
"We are extremely grateful to Bank of America for the ongoing support in the fight against hunger in this country," said Vicki Escarra, president and CEO of Feeding America. "With 36 million people currently at risk of hunger across the country, it is important now more than ever that we raise awareness and join together to fight domestic hunger. We greatly appreciate Bank of America's engagement in the cause."
Bank of America is a long-standing supporter of Feeding America and its network of food banks across the country. Since 2008, the foundation has contributed over $2 million to Feeding America and its food rescue affiliates, while bank associates volunteered nearly 8,000 hours to assist with hunger relief efforts. During the bank's Global Service Month in April, Bank of America's support of communities across the country in need of basic services took on a human face as thousands of associates volunteered their time and resources and provided over 300,000 meals and 100,000 pounds of food for low income individuals and their families.
"The All-Star Game creates an opportunity to work with our partners at MLB and the Cardinals to enhance our collective giving both nationally and here in St. Louis," said Pat Mercurio, Bank of America Missouri president. "The funds we raise will help to ensure that vulnerable populations supported by the St. Louis Area Foodbank have access to emergency food and other basic services, at a time when they are in dire need."
About Feeding America
Feeding America is the nation's leading hunger-relief organization, which provides support to 25 million Americans every year, including 9 million children and 3 million seniors. The 206 food banks in Feeding America's network serve the entire United States and support more than 63,000 agencies across the country, including soup kitchens and food pantries. For more information on how you can fight hunger in your community and across the country, visit http://www.feedingamerica.org/.
About St. Louis Area Foodbank
The St. Louis Area Foodbank will feed hungry people by distributing food through its member agencies, and will educate the public about the nature of and the solutions to the problems of hunger. It gathers and distributes nearly 14 million pounds of food each year to 500+ food pantries, homeless shelters, soup kitchens and emergency feeding programs throughout 14 counties in Eastern Missouri and 12 counties southwestern Illinois. For more, visit http://www.stlfoodbank.org/.
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. Through Team Bank of America, 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 http://www.bankofamerica.com/foundation.