TYLER — The East Texas Food Bank is one of 36 food banks in 18 states to receive a grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation as part of a $1.1 million donation to Feeding America to connect low income Americans with the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program formerly named the Food Stamp Program. The $1.1 million donation is the largest gift in the organization’s history to support SNAP outreach efforts. East Texas Food Bank was awarded $30,000 to hire an outreach staff member.
“Understanding the enormous need for food assistance in this country and in the East Texas community, SNAP awareness and outreach is one of the most important things we can do to ensure that no American goes to bed hungry,” said Gregg Davis, First Vice President, Bank of America Merrill Lynch. “As part of our work to help strengthen communities, Bank of America is opening up and shepherding opportunities for individuals and families in need by helping them receive food benefits and other essential human services,” added Brent Mills, Tyler Banking Center Manager, Bank of America.
At East Texas Food Bank, the grant will improve access and provide pre-screening and application assistance for low‐income individuals and families seeking emergency food assistance who are eligible for SNAP benefits. The Food Bank’s SNAP Outreach workers will be better equipped to research and assess the areas of greatest need; to provide awareness, education and application assistance; and to train staff and volunteers from partner agencies to assist SNAP‐eligible clients in completing applications.
“On behalf of the 183,000 people that the East Texas Food Bank serves, we are deeply grateful to Bank of America for its tremendous generosity and recognition that food assistance and hunger relief remain a top priority nationally and locally,” said Dennis Cullinane, executive director of the East Texas Food Bank. “This funding will enable food banks like ours to connect SNAP‐eligible people who visit emergency shelters, food pantries and soup kitchens with the right information and resources to get the benefits they need and overcome any barriers to receiving them.”