The grant is part of the financial services company’s Truist Cares initiative, a $50 million national philanthropic pledge to support basic needs, medical supplies, and financial hardship relief due to the COVID-19 shutdowns.
The Food Bank’s expenses related to COVID-19 top $1.5 million so far, with most of that spending on food.
Financial support from Truist has gone a long way in helping the Food Bank address hunger during the current health crisis, which includes responding to food assistance needs for the newly unemployed.
“The purchase of food has been our largest expense since the start of the crisis,” says Michael McKee, CEO of the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank. “Not only are we grateful for this level of support, but so are the families turning to us for help. For many of them, it’s the first time they’ve ever relied upon a food bank or food pantry.”
When businesses lead the way like this, they make a significant, direct impact and they empower employees to invest in causes impacting their communities.
“I am extremely proud of my Truist teammates,” says Chris Ellis, Harrisonburg market president for Truist. “Their hard work allowed us to react quickly to the COVID-19 pandemic and fund an essential community need in the Blue Ridge area.”
The heightened levels of need triggered by the pandemic and resulting economic downturn could persist for many more months. Vital support from the business community helps the Food Bank access more food, strengthen the capacity of partner food pantries, and access a variety of valuable resources, all of which helps to advance the Food Bank’s mission that everyone has enough to eat.