The Mazda Foundation (USA) Inc. has provided a $50,000 grant to the Food Bank of North Alabama to help the organization meet the unprecedented demand for food caused by the impact of COVID-19. The funds will enable the food bank to serve 350,000 meals to residents across several North Alabama counties.
The award is the second emergency donation that the Mazda Foundation has made to the food bank since the pandemic began in March. In total, the foundation has awarded $94,000 to the Food Bank of North Alabama this year, signifying its commitment to be a strong partner in the neighborhoods in which Mazda manufactures and sells its vehicles.
“The pandemic has created enormous need in communities across the country,” said Jeff Guyton, president of Mazda North American Operations and chairman of the Mazda Foundation (USA) Inc. “Addressing a fundamental need like food security is a clear expression of the Mazda Foundation’s guiding principle that what matters most is one another.”
Shirley Schofield, executive director of the Food Bank of North Alabama, said, “The Food Bank of North Alabama is very appreciative of this generous funding from the Mazda Foundation as we seek to respond to the growing number of people seeking food assistance, especially families who have never needed help before.”
The award is one of nine grants the foundation has made this month to address food insecurity in six major metropolitan areas across the United States. In total, the grants will enable the awardees to serve an estimated 730,000 meals in the next 12 months.
“Mazda Toyota Manufacturing is committed to serving as a hometown company in our North Alabama community. We appreciate the ongoing support of this commitment demonstrated by donations to important nonprofit partners, such as the Food Bank of North Alabama, by our parent companies, Mazda and Toyota,” said Masashi Aihara, president of Mazda Toyota Manufacturing.
The $2.3 billion Mazda Toyota Manufacturing plant is currently under construction in Huntsville. When production begins in 2021, the plant is expected to annually produce 150,000 Mazda crossover vehicles and 150,000 Toyota SUVs. The company is currently hiring team leader positions and is expected to resume hiring team member positions soon.
The Mazda Foundation was founded in 1992 and has contributions exceeding $13.4 million since its founding. It supports programs from children’s organizations and food banks to animal shelters and STEM programs.
The Food Bank of North Alabama is one of the largest non-profit hunger relief organizations in North Alabama, serving an 11-county area. It distributes more than 9 million meals annually through a network of 260 partners and programs that provide food to the area’s most vulnerable residents.