Arkansas has experienced a significant increase in the number of coronavirus cases during recent weeks and Bank of America has increased its PPE and financial contributions to several partner organizations that are dedicated to assisting vulnerable and underserved communities across the state that are hardest hit by the global health crisis.
The donations are part of a nationwide effort by Bank of America to immediately distribute millions of PPE to communities disproportionately impacted by the coronavirus, including communities of color, and is connected to its $1 billion, four-year commitment of additional support to help local communities address economic and racial inequality accelerated by a global pandemic. This is in addition to the four million masks the company donated earlier this year in cities across the country.
So far this year, Bank of America has contributed $346,000 to its partners at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), Arkansas Food Bank, University of Arkansas-Little Rock, Baptist Health Foundation and the Samaritan Community Center in Northwest Arkansas to help meet the crisis in underserved communities. In addition, Bank of America has donated more than 40,000 masks to UAMS, Baptist Health, Samaritan Community Center and Arkansas Food Bank.
“The health and safety of our employees, clients and communities remain our top priority during this health and humanitarian crisis,” said Donnie Cook, Arkansas Market President, Bank of America. “One of the ways we do this is by working with local partners to identify the most urgent needs among our underserved communities in addition to frontline workers, schools and health centers who are serving these communities.”
Bank of America has provided a grant of $76,500 in August to UAMS to fully equip a new mobile unit with PPE and test kits so the unit can make at least three visits per week in underserved communities throughout the state. This grant is an addition to previous funding provided by Bank of America, raising the total number of funds provided to UAMS by the bank to $113,000.
The company has contributed 20,000 masks to the Arkansas Food Bank, which is working with more than 420 community partners to meet the increased need for food access among underserved communities in south and central Arkansas. An additional $103,000 has been donated to the Food Bank to address hunger among Arkansas’ most vulnerable populations during the coronavirus pandemic.
Bank of America gave $15,000 to support the Food RX program, which the Baptist Health Foundation is opening Thursday (Oct. 1). Food RX is a food pantry that serves patients at Baptist Health-Little Rock, Baptist Health-North Little Rock and Baptist Health-Conway as well as three clinics in Arkansas. The Bank of America Foundation has contributed a total of $70,000 to the Baptist Health Foundation this year and an additional 6,000 masks.
Bank of America provided 14,000 masks to the Samaritan Community Center which is providing drive-thru food services to the hungry at two locations in Northwest Arkansas – Rogers and Springdale. An additional $40,000 has been contributed to the Samaritan Center by the bank to address the needs of the community.