Microsoft and HSBC Bank USA have joined Feeding America’s new workforce development initiative to help people facing hunger develop skills to advance their careers.
Feeding America is one of the US’s largest hunger relief organisations. HSBC will deliver a $350,000 two-year grant to help the organisation expand its new initiative within in-need communities and Microsoft will provide grant support and online learning content for today’s in-demand skills and jobs.
“Feeding America is grateful to HSBC and Microsoft for their investment in programmes that help to improve the lives of people who face hunger,” said Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America. “Their generous support will help improve the financial stability of communities that need it most.”
As part of the initiative, food banks will partner with workforce entities that provide employment opportunities for individuals in under-resourced communities. With this, Feeding America aims to address the root cause of hunger and promote food and financial security by supporting individuals in securing jobs with competitive wages.
“Given that HSBC’s global philanthropic focus is on employability, it has been tragic to see the impact the past year has had on the job market, particularly for women and people of colour here in the US,” said Kelly Fisher, head of corporate sustainability for HSBC Bank USA. “We believe in the proven abilities and reach that Feeding America has, as well as the incredible expertise of Microsoft, and are so proud to launch this programme together.”
Eight Feeding America member food banks are currently piloting the workforce development initiative, which includes identifying what connects people with new jobs in their local communities. Each of the pilot sites will focus on under-resourced communities with high levels of unemployment amongst people of colour and women.
With support from HSBC and Microsoft, Feeding America will work to close the equity gap amongst individuals, by delivering solutions such as child-care support for individuals participating in the training sessions. Microsoft will also provide free LinkedIn Learning courses to enhance the quality of training.
“As millions of people recover from the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, our new partnership with Feeding America and HSBC focuses on employment opportunities as a way out of food insecurity, especially within underserved communities,” said Kate Behncken, vice president and lead of Microsoft Philanthropies. “Together, we will scale new and existing programmes to help people gain the entry-level and advanced skills needed for today’s in-demand jobs and digital economy.”
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