Food for Free’s Ryan Lee loads up a van with goods donated in December by at Alexandria Real Estate. (Photo: Food for Free)

From Food for Free, Dec. 22, 2016: Food rescue organization Food For Free has been awarded a $15,000 grant from Bank of America through its Basic Needs community support program. The grant will support Food For Free’s food rescue program.

Founded in 1981 and called the nation’s first food rescue program, Cambridge-based Food For Free feeds more than 30,000 people annually in Cambridge and beyond, distributing food to more than 100 programs in its hometown as well as in Somerville, Arlington, Watertown, Medford, Boston, Chelsea, Everett, Lynn, Malden and Peabody.

“The funds granted to us through Bank of America will help us to distribute 1 million pounds of food in the coming year, which equates to more than 1.5 million meals. This food will help more than 30,000 people who struggle with access to healthy food in the Greater Boston area,” said Sasha Purpura, executive director of Food For Free. “We are incredibly grateful for this gift to support our work.”

Bank of America wants to help improve communities by addressing issues fundamental to economic health and sustainability, said Miceal Chamberlain, Massachusetts market president of the financial institution, describing bank plans to invest $2 billion over 10 years in global impact and grants program efforts.

“We are very proud to partner with Food For Free,” Chamberlain said. “Without affordable access to food, it’s very difficult for individuals and families to improve their personal financial lives or find their path to economic mobility.”

For information about Food For free, visit foodforfree.org.