Bank of America gave, on what is known as “Giving Tuesday,” $607,800 in grants to 32 Arizona nonprofits working to increase access to basic necessities and help eliminate barriers to economic mobility for families, including a $20,000 grant to St. Vincent DePaul.
According to the United States Census Bureau, over 1.1 million Arizona residents live at or below the poverty level in
Arizona—some 3.9% over the national average. In Tucson, that figure rises to 1 in 4, while metro Phoenix is among the highest of the 25 largest metropolitan areas. These figures identify a larger than normal burden on local nonprofits that help fill the gap for basic needs such as housing, food and medicine.
This funding awarded by Bank of America will help Arizona residents gain greater economic mobility through increased access to food, shelter, benefits and other fundamental needs that will enable them to move toward long-term stability.
“Basic needs assistance is just that, making sure the basic needs of those in our community is met,” said Benito Almanza, Arizona Market President, Bank of America. “At this time of year, it’s important to remember that hunger or homelessness don’t have a season and we believe these funds will help our community thrive not just during the holidays but all year long.”
Organizations receiving grants in the Phoenix metro region include: A New Leaf; Area Agency on Aging; Boys & Girls Club of Metropolitan Phoenix; Center for the Future of Arizona; Central Arizona Shelter Services; Crisis Nursery; Desert Mission; St. Vincent de Paul; Experience Matters; Florence Crittenton; Homeless ID Project; ICM Food & Clothing Bank; Joshua Tree Feeding Tree; Native American Connections; Phoenix Childrens Hospital; Salvation Army; Save the Family Foundation of Arizona; Southwest Center for HIV/AIDS, St. Mary’s Food Bank Alliance; Sun City Area Interfaith Services (Benevilla); Tumbleweed Center for Youth Development; United Food Bank; Valley of the Sun United Way.
In the Tucson area, the following nonprofits are being awarded grants: Jewish Federation of Southern Arizona, Green Valley Assistance Services Inc., Interfaith Community Services, Community Food Bank Inc., United Way of Tucson, Old Pueblo Community Services, Our Family Services, Inc., B’nai Brith Covenant House, and EMERGE! Tucson Center for Women and Children.
“These funds will greatly assist our clients, specifically children in Title I schools who receive a backpack of food on Friday afternoons, so they and their families aren’t hungry over the weekend,” said St. Vincent de Paul Executive Director Steve Zabilski. “We thank Bank of America not only for their financial commitment to working toward building a thriving community but also for their employees who volunteer their time and leadership to help us help even more Arizonans that may have nowhere else to turn.”
The bank’s investment in financial education through basic needs funding is part of its broader commitment to improve the financial lives of the individuals and communities it serves. In partnership with Khan Academy and its founder, online educator Sal Khan, Bank of America developed BetterMoneyHabits.com—a free, online tool that puts financial education in the hands of consumers through easy to understand language to empower better financial lives and decisions.
These grants are just one part of Bank of America’s commitment to responsible growth as it works to improve the financial lives of individuals and families. Philanthropic and volunteer investments play a key role in this effort with bank employees donating nearly 115,000 hours and almost $3 million in donations during 2016 to nonprofits in Phoenix, and $2,277,527 in grants and over 112,000 volunteer hours in Tucson, for example.
About Bank of America Environmental, Social and Governance
At Bank of America, our focus on Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) factors is critical to fulfilling our purpose of helping make people’s financial lives better. Our commitment to growing our business responsibly is embedded in every aspect of our company. It is demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our customers, and the impact we help create around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships across sectors – including community and environmental advocate groups, as well as non-profits – in order to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact. Learn more at www.bankofamerica.com/about and connect with us on Twitter at @BofA_News.