The FINANCIAL — Bank of America announced that in partnership with local nonprofits across the country, it has distributed more than 25 million masks since last summer as part of its ongoing efforts to address health-related disparities accelerated by the coronavirus. In addition to masks, the company has also distributed more than 160,000 bottles of hand sanitizer and 4 million gloves in local communities, with a particular focus on communities of color. The work is connected to Bank of America’s $1 billion four-year commitment to advance racial equality and economic opportunity.
“Blacks and Hispanic-Latinos are more likely to have chronic health conditions than non-Hispanic whites and 50 percent more likely to contract coronavirus,” said Ebony Thomas, Bank of America’s Racial Equality and Economic Opportunity executive. “Bank of America continues to help address coronavirus related health care disparities and other urgent needs by partnering with local nonprofits to distribute PPE to the most vulnerable populations.”
Organizations that have received PPE from the bank, in partnership with the Bank of America Charitable Foundation, are primarily serving low-to-moderate income communities and communities of color, including families and youth, homeless populations, frontline workers, small businesses, schools and health centers, including:
More than 2.6 million masks and 16,000 bottles of sanitizer to healthcare organizations, including hospitals that require thousands of masks per day to safely meet patient and visitor demand such as the Phoenix Children’s Hospital and community clinics like San Jose Clinic in Houston according to Bank of America.
1 million masks to support essential agricultural workers across the state of California and 5.5 million masks and 35,000 bottles of sanitizer to organizations that address food insecurity such as New York Common Pantry in New York City and the Capital Area Food Bank in Washington, D.C.
More than 1.4 million masks across South Florida, primarily to youth and students, and hundreds of thousands of masks to Atlanta and Chicago public schools.
Over 600,000 masks to partners that support small businesses, including Community Development Financial Institutions which provide capital and other support, such as LiftFund in San Antonio.
This effort builds on Bank of America’s commitment to support vulnerable communities, including $350 million in philanthropic donations provided last year to address needs related to food insecurity, health, housing workforce training and education and more. In addition, Bank of America has partnered with CVS Health to provide free flu vaccine vouchers to under-resourced communities across the U.S. for the 2020-2021 flu season.