BofA makes $1.5M in grants to groups serving vulnerable communities

Given to 28 organizations across N.J. that focus on investing in basic needs, workforce development and education

Bank of America announced Wednesday that it has made more than $1.5 million in grants to 28 New Jersey nonprofits to help drive economic opportunity for individuals and families.

The grants focus on workforce development and education to help individuals chart a path to employment and better economic futures, as well as basic needs fundamental to building lifelong stability, such as access to food.

While New Jersey’s economy is recovering from the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state still trails the nation in terms of employment and job creation. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, New Jersey’s unemployment rate is 4.1%, compared with the national average of 3.6%.

Employment is a key driver of economic mobility in New Jersey.

Alberto Garofalo. (File photo)

Bank of America New Jersey President Alberto Garofalo said that is why the bank is focused on building pathways to employment by supporting a range of workforce development and educational opportunities that will help vulnerable individuals and families stabilize and advance.

“We’ve chosen to partner with nonprofits that address the most critical issues facing New Jersey, including workforce development, food insecurity and economic and social progress,” he said. “Our philanthropic investment in these organizations helps us deploy capital locally, where it will have the most impact and build sustainable communities.”

One Bank of America grant recipient is Newark-based La Casa de Don Pedro. Founded in 1972, La Casa de Don Pedro’s values have been driven by a mission to foster self-sufficiency, empowerment and neighborhood revitalization. With this support from Bank of America, La Casa de Don Pedro will address underlying issues and root causes hindering the economic mobility of Greater Newark’s minority communities, especially Hispanic women.

Don Pedro CEO Peter Rosario said his organization was thankful for the help.

“Our goal is to reverse the trajectory of social, racial, political and economic dislocations and the marginalization of children and families,” he said. “With this support, we will be equipped with the tools we need to support programs that improve the quality of life for Newark residents.”

Bank of America has provided $30 million to organizations in New Jersey since 2017. These grants are part of the company’s commitment to responsible growth as it works to improve the financial lives of individuals, families and communities across the state. The company’s 11,000 New Jersey teammates have contributed over 350,000 volunteer hours since 2017.

Beyond local grant funding, Bank of America announced an expanded $1.25 billion, five-year commitment to help advance racial equality and economic opportunity across the country last year. The commitment, which further accelerates work already underway, supports investments that create opportunity for people and communities of color in the areas of health and health care, jobs and reskilling, support for small businesses and affordable housing.

Here is the list of organizations receiving grants:

  • America’s Grow-a-Row
  • Community FoodBank of NJ
  • CUMAC Echo
  • Elijah’s Promise
  • Eva’s Village
  • Fulfill
  • Homefront
  • La Casa de Don Pedro
  • Norwescap
  • Nourish
  • Oasis – A Haven for Women and Children
  • Parker Family Health Center
  • Paterson Task Force for Community Action
  • Paul’sCommunity Development Corporation
  • Table to Table
  • Trenton Area Soup Kitchen
  • United Way of Bergen County
  • York Street Project
  • Fairleigh Dickinson UniversityVeterans Launching Ventures
  • Greater Newark Conservancy
  • Interfaith Neighbors
  • Isles
  • Junior Achievement of New Jersey
  • New City Kids
  • The Father Center
  • Trinitas Foundation
  • we make
  • WomenRising