With COVID-19 ravaging Fresno and Visalia, Bank of America responded by doubling its philanthropy and awarding $1 million to 42 local nonprofits and communities in 2020.
“By directing philanthropic capital locally, we can address the most immediate needs while helping our most vulnerable communities become more resilient and positioned for success moving forward.” — Mark Riley, president, Fresno-Visalia region, Bank of America
The bank’s response to the pandemic focused on emergency response, food insecurity, community development, online education, and personal protective equipment for essential workers, including farmworkers, according to a company news release.
Highlights of the bank’s giving included buying a refrigerated van to help the Fresno Rescue Mission’s food distribution efforts, funding additional temporary housing at the Poverello House for 60 people nightly, and providing emergency grants for frontline workers at Community Medical Centers.
“This year has been a challenge for everyone, but especially so for essential workers and area residents working in industries particularly hard-hit by the pandemic,” said Mark Riley, Fresno/Visalia market president, Bank of America. “As a major company and employer, Bank of America recognizes that we have a responsibility to support our local communities however we can. By directing philanthropic capital locally, we can address the most immediate needs while helping our most vulnerable communities become more resilient and positioned for success moving forward.”
In 2019, Charlotte, N.C.-based Bank of America granted $500,000 to nonprofits and communities in Fresno, Tulare, and Merced counties.
Organizations can apply online for Bank of America grants at www.bankofamerica.com/foundation.
Employees Donate 2,100 Volunteer Hours
In addition, local Bank of America employees gave back through virtual volunteerism with more than 2,100 volunteer hours to causes and projects across the region in 2020.
As an essential business, Bank of America also invested in the health and economic stability of its own employees during the pandemic. The bank raised its minimum wage to $20 an hour and expanded family benefits. Among them: increasing childcare reimbursement to $100 per day, providing meal subsidies, and giving supplemental bonus pay to essential workers serving the daily banking needs of clients.