William and Joanne Conway Donate $1 Million to Capital Area Food Bank

Third Major Gift in Three Years Ensures That Partner Agencies Receive Fresh Produce at No Cost


WASHINGTON, DC, Nov. 20, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Capital Area Food Bank has received a $1 million gift from Mr. and Mrs. William E. Conway, Jr. through their charitable trust, The Bedford Falls Foundation, to ensure that partner agencies do not have to pay for fresh fruits and vegetables. This is the third large donation from the Conways, following a $5 million gift to the food bank in November 2010 and a $1 million donation for fresh produce in 2011.

Lynn Brantley, CAFB's President and CEO, said, "We are grateful to Joanne and Bill for their support of our mission over the last three years. Poverty is on the rise in our region and nationally. The middle class is under stress and many people who have never needed emergency food services find themselves at the doors of neighborhood food pantries that depend on the Capital Area Food Bank for food and household items."

Mr. Conway, Co-CEO of The Carlyle Group, said, "The need is great and we are happy to share our blessings with those who are hungry in our community. A balanced, healthy diet is the foundation for being successful and productive on a daily basis. Hopefully this gift will enable the food bank's partner agencies to focus more of their resources on client needs."

Due to rising costs of fresh produce in 2011, the food bank was forced to begin charging partner agencies a shared maintenance fee for fruits and vegetables. The Conways' first $1 million donation staved off that fee. This second $1 million donation similarly allows the food bank to continue providing fresh produce at no cost for another year.

Responding to the hunger crisis facing the Washington metro area, the Capital Area Food Bank saw the need to embark on a capital campaign five years ago to construct a larger food distribution center.  The food bank recently moved into The Bedford Falls Foundation Distribution Center – named in recognition of the Conways' initial $5 million grant. The new facility is located at 4900 Puerto Ave., NE and will enable the CAFB to double its food storage and distribution capacity over time and foster healthy eating.  The new $37 million distribution center, which is fully paid for, opened its doors on July 31 of this year.

Brantley said, "Since our founding in 1980 as a temporary hunger relief operation, we had hoped to see poverty and hunger diminish, but today more than 680,000 individuals, including 200,000 children, in the Washington metro area look to us for help. Our Bedford Falls Foundation Distribution Center and the additional help from the Conways to provide fresh fruits and vegetables at no cost will permit us to meet the needs of those going without one or more meals a day."

The Capital Area Food Bank, a member of Feeding America, was founded in 1980 on January 15, Martin Luther King Jr.'s  birthday, and takes a comprehensive approach to addressing hunger by increasing access to nutritious food, initiating change through skill-building and advocacy, and creating sustainability with outreach and training for those at risk of hunger. The CAFB is the Washington metro area's largest nonprofit food and nutrition education resource. To learn more about the new food distribution center, go to http://www.capitalareafoodbank.org/

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