PALM SPRINGS, Calif. -- The Desert AIDS Project and FIND Food Bank recently received grants from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation's Neighborhood Builders grant program.
As a result of the award, the two organizations will each receive $100,000 annually for two years, along with a leadership development program for their senior executives and emerging leaders.
The Desert AIDS Project serves people living with HIV and AIDS by providing comprehensive support, including medical care, case management, and social services, like food, housing, and counseling. The organization also offers free and confidential HIV testing.
While Desert AIDS Project's services are primarily based in the Palm Springs area, San Diego is connected to the organization through the Hillcrest location of the Revivals store. Proceeds from sales at Revivals stores are donated to the Desert AIDS Project.
Besides giving to its primary benefactor, the San Diego location of Revivals has committed to providing some charitable support to organizations in town, such as The Center and Mama's Kitchen.
The FIND Food Bank works to mobilize the resources of the community it serves through education and awareness to relieve hunger.
The organization says that it envisions its “food-insecure” clients obtaining nourishing food through channels that are not solely dependent on private sources, so that clients can learn to become self-sufficient while being mindful of healthy food choices. FIND envisions a hunger-free Coachella Valley.
FIND and Desert AIDS Project work together to ensure the health and safety of their clients.
Desert AIDS Project says that it operates under the philosophy that "food is medicine" for people living with HIV/AIDS, and provides low-income clients with food vouchers redeemable at any Stater Brothers store, while also offering a monthly Farmers Market.
Many of the items offered at the Farmers Market, such as fresh produce, bread, and other less shelf-stable products, are secured from FIND, either as a donation to Desert AIDS Project or paid for with grant funding.
Leaders of the two organizations say that they are pleased with the grant award.
“We are so grateful to Bank of America for this grant because while our current economy has made fundraising harder than ever, the need for basic services like medical care, food, and housing never goes away,” said David Brinkman, CEO of Desert AIDS Project.
“If anything, community assistance organizations that help to build stronger, more closely-knit neighborhoods are more necessary than ever. In times like these, it becomes even more important for organizations like D.A.P. and FIND to help those in need.”
Lisa Houston, CEO of FIND Food Bank agreed, saying that the partnership the two organizations have is vital to the health of clients in need.
“For one in six Coachella Valley residents – and one in eight Americans – food insecurity is a daily issue. In fact, the majority of food insecure individuals currently being served by FIND are considered ‘working-poor families'," said Houston.
"This demographic represents minimum-wage working adults and low-income children who simply cannot make ends meet and often go with very limited food for several days a month. Working with Desert AIDS Project and other social service organizations located throughout the Coachella Valley is a great way for FIND to continue to maintain service to 80,000+ individuals we help monthly to get the nutrition they need.”
In a statement, Bank of America says that it is committed to creating positive change in the places where its branches operate, working under a corporate philanthropy that is driven by the belief that a healthy community is important to everyone. The bank says it will contribute more than $200 million to address critical issues facing neighborhoods and communities across the country this year.
For more information about the Desert AIDS Project, click HERE or call (760) 323-2118.
For more information about the FIND Food Bank, click HERE or call (760) 775-3663.