Alameda County Community Food Bank Awarded $250,000 Grant to Lead Morgan Stanley Healthy Cities Initiative in Oakland

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Groundbreaking grant will fund creation and expansion of innovative and sustainable programs linking hunger-relief and primary health for low-income children.

Alameda County Community Food Bank today announced a $250,000 grant from Morgan Stanley to fund major childhood hunger and health programs. The grant – which ranks among the most significant in the Food Bank’s 29 year history – was awarded through Morgan Stanley’s “Healthy Cities” initiative. Oakland is one of just three cities nationwide participating in this pilot program, and was chosen due to the complex health and hunger issues the city faces. As one of the nation’s leading anti-hunger organizations, Alameda County Community Food Bank was chosen as the lead partner for the local initiative, officially called Morgan Stanley Healthy Oakland.

Leading the local program, Alameda County Community Food Bank has engaged a network of health providers, libraries and schools – all serving low-income and underserved communities – to build a multifaceted suite of innovative solutions addressing health and hunger problems facing Oakland. The $250,000 grant will fund new food programming, and health screenings and promotion, as well as enhancing and expanding existing programs through the partnership network to reach more Oakland residents who would benefit from these services. Programming will include:

  •     Expanded summer food programs combining the free summer lunch initiative at Oakland Public Libraries with Alameda County Community Food Bank mobile pantries to better bridge the summer meal gap for children of low-income families.
  •     Expanded school-based mobile pantries, doubling the amount of food provided through mobile pantries at certain high-need elementary schools during the school year.
  •     Widened food services reach to middle schools and older youth through a pilot program combining the Food Bank’s mobile pantry and Children’s Backpack Programs.
  •     Enhanced nutrition education initiatives, including “train the trainer” programs to empower parent volunteers to promote good nutrition and healthy eating to other low-income parents.
  •     Health screening and promotion, directly linking the importance of proper nutrition and primary health care to ensure children’s growth and development.

In addition to the Food Bank, local partners include La Clínica de La Raza, Youth Uprising, Oakland Public Libraries and The Salvation Army. The Food Bank is also partnering with local schools – Hoover Elementary, East Oakland Pride Elementary, Lazear Charter Academy, World and Achieve Academies, and Urban Promise Academy – as food distribution sites.

“Morgan Stanley’s Healthy Cities initiative is a tremendous investment in Alameda County Community Food Bank, and the Oakland community,” says Suzan Bateson, executive director. “Serving nearly 50,000 children and adults every week, we depend on vital corporate partnerships. Morgan Stanley’s support ranks among the largest gifts ever made to our Food Bank. It’s an investment in building community partnerships, directly tying hunger relief and health care efforts, and building multifaceted, sustainable solutions to profound problems in our community. We are honored to partner with Morgan Stanley in this groundbreaking effort.”

The Morgan Stanley Healthy Oakland network this year will provide 128,000 healthy meals; health screenings and health fairs for over 300 children; and health, nutrition and wellness information for over 750 students – all while engaging over 2,000 volunteer hours from Morgan Stanley employees. Through Morgan Stanley’s national partnership with KaBOOM! the network will also provide safe play spaces for 1,000 children.

Joan Steinberg, Global Head of Philanthropy for Morgan Stanley says, “For more than 40 years, Morgan Stanley has focused on giving children the healthy start they need so that they have every possible opportunity for lifelong achievement. To that end, we are thrilled to join with Alameda County Community Food Bank and its network of local partners to integrate the delivery of nutritious meals, health screenings, and physical activity.

The importance of integrating hunger relief and primary health care cannot be overstated – especially in Alameda County where 1 in 6 residents rely on the Food Bank, nearly half of whom are children. Food insecurity is directly linked to chronic disease which accounts for 75 percent of U.S. health spending according to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Diet-related illness, however, is preventable with better, regular access to healthier food options provided through programs like this.

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About Alameda County Community Food Bank
Since 1985, Alameda County Community Food Bank has been at the forefront of hunger relief efforts in the Bay Area. Last year, the Food Bank distributed the equivalent of 23 million meals. More than half of the food distributed was farm-fresh produce. The Food Bank serves 1 in 6 Alameda County residents by distributing food through a network of 240 food pantries, soup kitchens, and other community organizations, as well as direct-distribution programs including Children’s Backpack and Mobile Pantry. For seven consecutive years, Alameda County Community Food Bank has received Charity Navigator’s top rating — Four Stars — ranking the organization among the top 2 percent of charities nationwide. Learn more at

About Morgan Stanley
Morgan Stanley is a leading global financial services firm providing investment banking, securities, investment management and wealth management services. The Firm's employees serve clients worldwide including corporations, governments, institutions and individuals from more than 1,200 offices in 43 countries. Through its Global Alliance for Children’s Health, the Firm is dedicated to improving the lives and welfare of the world’s youngest citizens. For more information about Morgan Stanley, please visit

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Michael Altfest
Alameda County Community Food Bank
+1 (510) 635-3663 Ext: 330
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