by RICHARD HALSTEAD | Marin Independent Journal
Bank of America has awarded a total of $155,000 to nine Marin County nonprofit organizations as part of its Charitable Foundation grant program.
The bank said the charitable donations are part of $700,000 in grants made to 25 nonprofits throughout the North Bay. The grants will support programs ranging from workforce development and basic needs to neighborhood revitalization and small businesses.
“We’ve been doing business for over 100 years in the North Bay,” said Jason Foster, Bank of America’s North Bay president. “We have a long history of partnering with local nonprofits and community leaders to make investments in economic opportunity and social progress.”
The nine Marin nonprofits awarded grants were: 10,000 Degrees, Agricultural Institute of Marin (AIM), Canal Alliance, College of Marin Foundation, Community Action Marin, Downtown Streets Inc., ExtraFood.org, Homeward Bound of Marin and YWCA Golden Gate.
Foster declined to disclose how much each Marin organization was awarded.
“Generally, we leave it to the nonprofits to communicate their grants at their discretion,” he said.
Andy Naja-Riese, Agricultural Institute of Marin’s CEO, said his organization received $30,000. Naja-Riese said this is the first grant AIM has received from Bank of America.
Naja-Riese said AIM will use the money to provide “Bounty Boxes” to families and children in the Canal neighborhood of San Rafael. Bounty boxes are filled with fresh fruits, vegetables, and legumes sourced locally from small farmers.
Naja-Riese said the money will allow AIM to provide about 840 boxes to children who participate in San Rafael’s Enriching Lives Through Music (ELM) program, which provides music education and performance opportunities to mostly Latino children and families who live in and attend school in the Canal neighborhood.
Naja-Riese said AIM began working with ELM in 2020 during the pandemic as a means of getting nutritious food to Canal families. Naja-Riese said the Bank of America grant will also help to provide “critical economic stimulus to our small family farms in the region.”
Sara Matson, Canal Alliance’s development director, said her organization received a $25,000 grant from Bank of America. The Canal Alliance provides a variety of services to residents living in San Rafael’s predominantly Latino Canal neighborhood.
“We have been getting funding from Bank of America pretty consistently for about 25 years,” Matson said. “The amount has increased over the years.”
Matson said Canal Alliance will use the money to support its workforce development program, which includes a construction training program provided in partnership with College of Marin and the Marin Builders Association.
“We also offer a 10-week small business development course in partnership with the Marin Small Business Development Center,” Matson said.
The grants are awarded competitively, and any nonprofit can apply. There are multiple requests for proposals every year. In 2021, Bank of America awarded $225,000 to Marin nonprofits as part of its Charitable Foundation grant program.
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