/PRNewswire/ -- Consumers can have their gifts for Feeding America and Boys & Girls Clubs of America matched by donating to Bank of America's "Gift for Opportunity" fund through January 15, 2011. The Bank of America Charitable Foundation will match donations to the fund up to $1 million. Contributions can be made at any of Bank of America's 5,900 banking centers across the country or by visiting www.bankofamerica.com/give.
The Bank of America Charitable Foundation contributed $1 million to initiate the "Gift for Opportunity" fund to support Feeding America and Boys & Girls Clubs of America. With this donation, more than $1.2 million has been raised to date, with potential to raise another $1.8 million more through generous consumer donations and the bank's corporate match.
As evidenced by the USDA's Economic Research Service, the issue of hunger continues to affect a growing number of Americans. In fact, more than 50 million Americans, including 17 million children and 3 million seniors, are food insecure. The need for food is particularly great in the wintertime, when food insecure Americans often have to choose between paying for heat and meals for their families.
"As the economy recovers, there are thousands of families that still face making difficult choices as to whether to pay their electric bill or put food on the table," said Kerry Sullivan, President of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation. "With the creation of the 'Gift for Opportunity' fund, we're looking to make peoples' donations go further, easing this burden so that families can get the nourishment they need."
According to Feeding America's Hunger in America 2010 study, 46% of client households served by Feeding America report having to choose between paying for utilities or heating fuel and food. Additionally, child hunger remains alarmingly high. One in four children was at risk of hunger in 2009. Feeding America and the Boys & Girls Clubs of America are two primary organizations addressing food insecurity in children. Feeding America is the nation's leading hunger-relief organization and Boys & Girls Clubs of America's network of some 4,000 clubs provides a safe place for children to obtain healthy meals.
"There are nearly 10 million children under the age of six living in food insecure households," said Vicki Escarra, President and CEO of Feeding America. "The Feeding America network is able to address this issue through our great partnership with Bank of America and the 'Gift for Opportunity' fund. Hunger is a pressing issue year-round, and we could not help food insecure Americans without charitable support. It's through the support of Bank of America and its customers that we're able to make notable progress in the fight against hunger."
"We are grateful to Bank of America for helping Boys & Girls Clubs of America provide the young people we serve with the opportunity for a great future which is a challenge when so many American families are food insecure," said Roxanne Spillett, President and CEO of Boys & Girls Clubs of America. "We simply cannot expect America's young people to reach their full potential if they are denied a healthy and nutritious food supply."
The Bank of America "Gift for Opportunity" fund is administered through the Bank of America Charitable Gift Fund, a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. For more information about the Bank of America "Gift for Opportunity" fund, visit www.bankofamerica.com/give.
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