May 20Bank of America Unites with Affordable Housing Providers to Support Local Restaurants and Low-Income Residents During Coronavirus Pandemic
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 14, 2020
SEATTLE – Four affordable housing developers – Bellwether Housing, Capitol Hill Housing, Mercy Housing Northwest and the Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority – are joining forces, backed by Bank of America, to support local restaurant owners and residents of affordable housing communities who have been impacted by the coronavirus outbreak.
This innovative partnership works to address two pressing challenges: a growing need to provide meals for Seattle-area residents and supporting local businesses impacted by the stay at home order. The Community Kitchens for Affordable Housing Residents program utilizes local restaurant partners to prepare catered meals for neighbors in need who have been laid off from jobs or who are experiencing food insecurity as a result of the pandemic.
The program is poised to serve 3,500 individuals at 15 properties across King County for the next four months, delivering thousands of meals each week with the $500,000 grant from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation.
“At Bank of America, supporting our communities and responding to some of the biggest challenges Seattleites face – especially during a time of crisis – is what we do,” said Kerri Schroeder, Bank of America Seattle market president. “With many local residents and businesses struggling from the ongoing impact of the coronavirus, we need to come together and support our neighbors and community partners in finding effective solutions and deploying resources through programs like the Community Kitchens for Affordable Housing Residents.”
These four nonprofits are on the front lines of the economic impacts caused by the coronavirus crisis. Layoffs and lost wages have been devastating for their residents, many of whom are hourly wage workers, service industry workers or dependent on gig economy wages.
Commercial tenants in their buildings are also experiencing reduced revenue as they adhere to coronavirus public health social distancing guidelines.
“The economic impact on residents of affordable housing and on the culinary community has been swift. Working together to meet the skyrocketing need for food assistance and giving a boost to these small businesses is the kind of collaborative approach our current situation demands,” said Marcia Wright-Soika, director of philanthropy and strategic partnerships at Mercy Housing Northwest. “We’re honored to be working alongside Bellwether Housing, Capitol Hill Housing and SCIDpda, who are laser-focused on helping residents weather these challenging times.”
Restaurants will create culturally and dietarily-responsive meal kits that are easily portable to food-insecure families, individuals and at-risk seniors, allowing housing providers to meet food insecurity needs safely. Some restaurant partners include the South End’s Seattle Kitchen Collective (Musang Seattle, Sugar Hill, That Brown Girl Cooks!), Mojitos, Kay Catering and Pho Bac Sup Shop, among others.
Chef Kay Kim, of Kay Catering, is one of the confirmed Community Kitchens participating in the program. The business recently lost 80 percent of its revenue. “Small business owners in the food industry are hit hard,” says Kim, “Connecting food business owners to prepare meals for the underserved is a win-win for the most vulnerable in Seattle. Bank of America’s funding is keeping people employed, small businesses open, and feeding those who can’t afford to get food delivered to their homes.”
For more information and to support the program, please text COMMUNITYKITCHEN to 44321.
About Bellwether Housing:
Bellwether Housing is the largest private, nonprofit affordable housing provider in Seattle. Bellwether has developed, owned and operated housing for low-income individuals, families, seniors and households transitioning out of homelessness since 1980 –in total, 2,100 apartments in 32 buildings throughout Seattle.
About Capitol Hill Housing:
Everyone has the right to a quality, affordable home. At Capitol Hill Housing, this truth drives our work. By embracing community-led development and engaging in deep-rooted partnerships, we’re fostering vibrant, equitable communities where everyone has access to safe, affordable and welcoming homes. We employ anti-racist tactics to dismantle systemic barriers and support socially just, culturally rich, and environmentally sustainable communities throughout our region. Our work began in the Capitol Hill area of Seattle and, as our region transformed, our partnerships have expanded to include communities in the Central District, White Center, and Lake City. Today, with 47 apartment buildings, we continue our commitment to build community with and for people.
About Mercy Housing Northwest:
Since 1991, Mercy Housing Northwest (MHNW) has provided affordable homes to people with low incomes, including families, seniors, people who have experienced homelessness, and people with disabilities. With 54 properties in Washington and Idaho, MHNW serves more than 5,600 people every day. MHNW supplements much of its housing with Resident Services, programs that help residents build stable lives. MHNW is a regional branch of Mercy Housing, Inc. (MHI), a leading national affordable housing nonprofit headquartered in Denver, CO.
The Seattle Chinatown International District Preservation and Development Authority (SCIDpda) is a community development organization whose mission is to preserve, promote, and develop the Seattle Chinatown International District (CID) as a vibrant community and unique ethnic neighborhood. Formed by the community in 1975, SCIDpda works to revitalize and preserve the neighborhood by providing services in three primary areas: affordable housing and commercial property management, community economic development and community engagement, and real estate development. SCIDpda has 40-plus years of experience in increasing neighborhood sustainability through innovative programs and projects that balance development and preservation.
About Bank of America:
At Bank of America, we’re guided by a common purpose to help make financial lives better, through the power of every connection. We’re delivering on this through responsible growth with a focus on our environmental, social and governance (ESG) leadership. ESG is embedded across our eight lines of business and reflects how we help fuel the global economy, build trust and credibility, and represent a company that people want to work for, invest in and do business with. It’s demonstrated in the inclusive and supportive workplace we create for our employees, the responsible products and services we offer our clients, and the impact we make around the world in helping local economies thrive. An important part of this work is forming strong partnerships with nonprofits and advocacy groups, such as community, consumer and environmental organizations, to bring together our collective networks and expertise to achieve greater impact. Learn more at about.bankofamerica.com, and connect with us on Twitter (@BofA_News).