Bank of America seems to have adopted the spirit of Christmas. How else would you explain the bank’s philanthropic endeavors which have surprised even the recipients of the grant money, despite losing investor confidence?
Shares of Bank of America slid almost two percent to $17.33 after the bank said it expects trading revenue to decline this quarter from the previous three months and a year earlier, reported The Street. But the bank’s administration isn’t concerned; it has approved issuance of funds to groups that are addressing two of the most fundamental issues of poor Americans – food and shelter.
Associating the dip in revenue to customer activity, CEO Brian Moynihan said, “When activity ebbs and flows, we don’t try to replace that activity with non-customer-driven business.”
But what’s more important are the projects in which the bank has chosen to invest. Leaders of Sacramento’s Soil Born Farms were quite surprised when Bank of America officials announced a Neighborhood Builders Award was to be awarded to the group, reported The Sacramento Bee. The award comes with a check of $200,000 that local nonprofits view as something of a rainmaker because it seeds new projects or catapults existing ones to the next level. Speaking about the endeavor, Sara Minnehan, a Soil Born board member, said,
“Not only are we feeding food-insecure populations in our region with fresh, organic, nutritious food, but we are also making huge inroads in combating significant health problems in our nation.”
Operating from a farm spread over 55 acres, Soil Born Farms runs a variety of programs which include gleaning fruit from trees on local properties, educating schoolchildren about how to grow and prepare healthy food, and bringing community gardens to the region’s food deserts. The program makes money by selling its produce to individuals and restaurants, in grocery stores, and at farm stands.
The other organization that received a grant from Bank of America is Habitat for Humanity, a mission that aims to provide homes for families in need, reported the Palm Beach Post. The Bank of America Charitable Foundation’s 2014 Community Development Grant is part of a $402,500 collective donation to address issues related to affordable housing and neighborhood revitalization in South Florida.
Habitat for Humanity works to provide affordable home-ownership opportunities for “hardworking and deserving families.” The nonprofit builds homes in partnership with families who demonstrate a need for housing and a willingness to work to buy a home of their own.
While the stock price of Bank of America will surely bounce back as business picks up, such grants will go a long way in improving the lives of poor but deserving Americans.
[Image Credit | EPACHA, Soil Born Farms, Bloomberg]