Presented by Bank of America

Bank of America donated $100 for each employee who recorded a COVID-19 vaccine or booster shot, and made an additional company contribution.

Bank of America is pleased to announce it has donated $400,000 to Chicago-area food banks – $200,000 to the Greater Chicago Food Depository and $200,000 to the Northern Illinois Food Bank – helping the organizations provide approximately 1.2 million meals for families experiencing hunger across Chicagoland.

The donation stems from an initiative to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters while supporting hunger relief organizations in the local community. Earlier this year, Bank of America announced it would make a $100 donation to local food banks for each employee in Chicago who received a COVID-19 booster shot or vaccine and notified the bank before the end of January. The company made an additional contribution to address the increased need experienced by these organizations.

“As the pandemic continues to impact Chicago, food banks and hunger relief organizations are experiencing increased demand and higher costs to meet the needs of those in our community,” shared Rita Cook, president of Bank of America Chicago. “Our commitment to help strengthen the communities we live in and serve is unwavering, which is why we are investing in the health, safety and wellbeing of our teammates while also providing funds to help local organizations like Greater Chicago Food Depository and Northern Illinois Food Bank fight food insecurity.”

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, an estimated 38 million people were food insecure in the United States in 2020. As the pandemic continues, hunger relief organizations in Chicago and across the country are facing ongoing challenges, including increased demand for their services and rising food prices.

“Food insecurity is more prevalent than ever in our communities,” said Maeven Sipes, Chief Philanthropy Officer at Northern Illinois Food Bank. “Today, we are serving 20% more of our neighbors each month than we did pre-pandemic through our network of pantries and our direct-to-neighbor programs. This gift from Bank of America will help us meet this unprecedented need and provide nutritious food our neighbors need to thrive during this challenging time.”

Nationally, the bank has committed $10.6 million dollars to food banks and hunger relief organizations through this effort. Since 2015, Bank of America has donated nearly $150 million toward hunger relief efforts.

“The Food Depository is incredibly grateful for this generous gift from Bank of America and their Chicago employees,” said Kate Maehr, executive director and CEO of the Greater Chicago Food Depository. “As families across Chicago and Cook County continue to navigate the COVID-19 crisis, this gift of $200,000 will help hundreds of thousands of our neighbors, ensuring they have food on the table and hope for their future.”

Bank of America has encouraged staff to get COVID-19 vaccinations since summer 2021 and has offered incentives such as paid time-off and $500 credits towards health benefit premiums. In partnership with local nonprofits, Bank of America has also distributed more than 38 million masks, 41,000 cases of hand sanitizer and 11 million gloves in local communities as part of its ongoing efforts to address health-related disparities accelerated by the pandemic. The company committed to donating a minimum of $25,000 in each of the company’s 93 markets to local nonprofit partners as part its vaccine booster effort. Because vaccination boosters and reporting are voluntary and additional company contributions are reflected in the final amount, actual donation amounts differ from the number of boosters reported by bank employees.

Visit their website for more information about Bank of America’s efforts to help build a stronger, more inclusive Chicago.