Corporate Volunteer Spotlight: Great Ideas and Great Work

Bank of America Merrill Lynch

Over the years, Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BofAML) has been a supporter of GFN on both the global and local levels. It starts with dedication on the corporate level and comes to life thanks to the hundreds of caring BofAML employees who get involved. “We’ve formed regional and global partnerships, including our work with The Global FoodBanking Network, to help connect those in need with access to food,” said Kerry Sullivan, president of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation. “As a corporate partner, bringing our volunteers to support this effort is one of the most powerful ways we can help address hunger relief.” This year alone, the company’s employees in eleven countries – Argentina, Mexico, Hong Kong, Singapore, the UK, Belgium, Turkey, Spain, Italy, Israel, and South Africa – volunteered thousands of hours. They provided technical skills, organized awareness-raising programs, collected food and funds, and did whatever was needed to help food banks in their communities. Here are a few examples. Mexico Fact: In Mexico, one in four people are food insecure, yet the country wastes 37 percent of the food produced for consumption. To help alleviate this situation, BofAML and Bancos de Alimentos de México (BAMX) partnered to reduce food waste and help get food to those who need it most.
  • Al Rescate – Restaurant Food Rescue. Since 2014, BofAML and BAMX have partnered on a unique and successful program to rescue perfectly edible and safe food from the restaurant chain CMR, and distribute it to beneficiary organizations serving families in need. To date, the program has rescued food from 70 restaurants. By the end of the year, it will reach 80 restaurants, rescuing nearly 10 tons of food for people in need, especially women, children and the elderly. By May 2016, BofAML and BAMX plan to extend this food rescue effort to 150 restaurants.mexico
  • In-Office Food Collection. In September, BofAML employees launched a two-month long in-office food drive to benefit BAMX. In conjunction with the food drive, employees celebrated World Food Day (October 16, 2015) with a Waste Less Lunch & Learn – BAMX’s Magaly Quintana’s presentation helped raise awareness of the impact of global food waste on our environment. On November 13, BofAML employee volunteers delivered the food donations to BAMX.
Hong Kong Did you know? Hong Kong wastes more than 3,200 tons of food each day. Hong KongThis is precisely why BofAML employees are working with Feeding Hong Kong (FHK) to reduce the amount of food being sent to the city’s landfills and help fight hunger at the same time. Here are some of the ways BofAML has supported FHK as part of the firm’s broader efforts to help communities thrive:
  • FHK New Food Bank Facility – BofAML Asia Pacific was a key funder of the new FHK warehouse facility. This new facility has enabled FHK to dramatically increase the volume and variety of food it can handle and redistribute.
  • Record-Breaking Food Drive. In May, BofAML and FHK came together on a record-breaking food drive, collecting nearly 19 tons of food for families in the city’s poorest neighborhoods. These donations — the most ever received by FHK — generated an estimated 44,324 meals. BofAML Asia Pacific President Matthew Koder spearheaded the food drive.
  • Bread Run. BofAML employees regularly volunteer for FHK’s Bread Run, a bi-weekly program to collect fresh surplus bread from bakeries at closing time. More than 100 BofAML volunteers participated in Bread Runs in 2015, collecting 400 kilograms of bread for 27 charities and schools.
Singapore Imagine if each person in Singapore threw away two bowls of rice every single day. Believe it or not, this is how much food is wasted in the country each year. SingaporeTo help tackle this problem, BofAML has supported The Food Bank Singapore for the past two years. The Food Bank works as a central coordinator for food donations in the city, playing a key role in the reduction of food waste. BofAML supports the organization’s work by helping to collect surplus food that can be redistributed to organizations and people in need. From May to August 2015, teams of 20 to 30 BofAML volunteers helped collect, sort, pack and deliver more than 300 food bundles with The Food Bank Singapore to distribute to people living in low-income housing areas. Fighting global food waste and hunger is a formidable task. But thanks to companies like BofAML, we are making a difference. Thanks BofAML! Inspired by BofAML? Learn more about ways to get involved with food banking in your community.
Resources: Crop Insurance Management