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$10 million new gift to food bank from William E. “Bill” Conway Jr. to address regional food insecurity brings his total support to over $23 million
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$10 million new gift to food bank from William E. “Bill” Conway Jr. to address regional food insecurity brings his total support to over $23 million

The Capital Area Food Bank announced that William “Bill” Conway, Jr. has committed $10 million to the Capital Area Food Bank to address regional food insecurity via a multi-year gift. Made to honor the philanthropic legacy of his late wife Joanne Barkett Conway, the funding will support multiple areas of work that include the purchase of fresh produce; programs that supply critical nutrition to children; and initiatives that provide nutritious groceries to college students facing hunger.

“This is an absolutely transformational level of generosity,” said Radha Muthiah, president and CEO of the Capital Area Food Bank. “This gift will enable greater health and greater opportunity for thousands of our neighbors and is such a fitting tribute to Joanne’s remarkable vision and legacy. We’re honored and humbled by what these funds will make possible, particularly at a moment when need remains greatly elevated across our region.”

The investment in the food bank will be used to improve the lives of kids, families, and other individuals experiencing food insecurity across the Washington metropolitan region. The funding provides significant support for the purchase and distribution of nutritious foods, including fresh fruit and vegetables. Produce, which made up nearly half of the food CAFB provided last year, plays an important role in a healthy diet but can be cost prohibitive for those with limited budgets.

Funds will also be directed towards the food bank’s “Food Plus Education” initiatives, which supply groceries and meals to college students who may be struggling to put food on the table. In particular, the gift will focus on assisting students in fields where demand for jobs is high, such as nursing and information technology.

Additionally, the gift will be used to support the food bank’s programs focused on meeting the dietary needs of children.

“Joanne was passionate about helping those in need improve their lives,” said William “Bill” Conway. “I can think of no better way to honor her memory and to carry on her legacy of compassion than by supporting the Capital Area Food Bank in helping those facing food insecurity.”

This gift is among the multiple investments made by Bill and Joanne Conway to the food bank over the last decade, which total $23 million.

Heavily informed by Joanne’s vision of empowering individuals with the skills and opportunities needed to find fulfilling employment, as well as addressing the essential human need for food, the Conway’s philanthropic donations to CAFB have included support for the purchase of produce; programming for children, college students, and families; and a capital investment in the construction of The Bedford Falls Distribution Center – the CAFB’s primary warehouse facility in the region.

The Capital Area Food Bank works to address hunger today and create brighter futures tomorrow for more than a million people across the region experiencing food insecurity. As the anchor in the area’s hunger relief infrastructure, the food bank provided 60 million meals to people in need last year by supplying food to hundreds of nonprofit organizations, including Martha’s Table, SOME – So Others Might Eat, DC Central Kitchen, Food for Others, Manna, and others. It also works in partnership with organizations across the region to address hunger’s root causes by pairing food with critical services such as education, health care, and job training.

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