The Bank of America Charitable Foundation recently awarded $7,500 to the Salvation Army of Pine Bluff, which serves Arkansas, Cleveland, Grant, Jefferson, and Lincoln counties.
Over the past year, Pine Bluff has seen a considerable increase in the number of people seeking shelter or a hot meal. The grant will aid with expenses to help accommodate the increased demand for the hungry, homeless, and more, according to a news release.
"The Pine Bluff Salvation Army is very grateful to the Bank of America Charitable Foundation for a generous gift of $7,500 to help with ongoing operational expenses that are attributed to serving thousands of men, women, and children in need in Pine Bluff and the surrounding areas," according to the release.
The Salvation Army provides for the most basic necessities of life among the most vulnerable people through its shelter and emergency assistance.
"For many years, Bank of America has worked with nonprofit partners, elected officials, business and civic leaders, and others across Arkansas to help drive economic opportunity and upward mobility. Recently, Bank of America announced its newly expanded $1.25 billion, five-year commitment to help advance racial equality and economic opportunity in our communities. Through direct action and investment, Bank of America is focused on creating opportunity in the areas of health/jobs/training/reskilling/up-skilling, small business support and affordable housing, as these areas are where systemic, long-term gaps have existed and where significant change is required to achieve sustainable progress" according to the release.
In 2020, the Salvation Army served 1,668 people in the community through a wide array of programs and services including 7,392 hot meals. Additionally, 2,365 food boxes were handed out, and 1,988 toys and gifts were provided at Christmas.
Over the same time period, the Salvation Army provided 3,554 nights of lodging for men and women in crisis situations.
"The shelter offers a safe place, a hot shower and a clean bed, nutritious food, counseling, and life skills," according to the release.
Individuals received help through social service programs including utility assistance, prescription drug programs and back-to-school backpack programs.
"We are proud to have the support of the Bank of America Charitable Foundation," commanding officer Maj. Diane Johnson said. "This donation will help us to continue meeting the needs of our community, particularly as they relate to our sheltering and feeding programs."