Baker Boyer Bank

Baker Boyer Bank in downtown Walla Walla.

Baker Boyer Bank announced this week it has marked $42,000 for donations to regional programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Walla Walla-based financial institution started the effort last month with $12,000 in meal donations for front-line health care workers and first responders, according to a news release from the company.

The meal program provided $1,000 to 12 local businesses that created their own programs to serve the meals, starting late April.

The bank’s contributions also includes a $5,000 donation to the Walla Walla YWCA.

“(We) wanted to express our gratitude to the men and women who have been on the front lines tirelessly responding during the coronavirus pandemic,” said Baker Boyer President and CEO Mark Kajita in the release. “Now, we’re broadening our focus to address the critical needs of food insecurity and domestic violence, which have increased during this difficult time. We hope this helps make our communities stronger.”

In addition to the meal program, the bank’s latest contributions are: $7,500 for the Yakima Downtown Rotary Food Bank; $5,000 for Second Harvest in the Tri-Cities; $2,500 to the Tri-Cities Cancer Center Foundation’s “DINE IN” program; $5,000 for Meals on Wheels in Walla Walla; $5,000 to CAPECO for home-delivered meals in Milton-Freewater; and $5,000 to the Walla Walla YWCA.

The release noted a May 18 report about Walla Walla’s Meals On Wheels having a dramatic increase in meal requests.

“Our donations will help support increased need for food, as well as addressing the challenges created by social distancing and sheltering in place,” the release said.

The YWCA will use its funds to support the costs of operating its women’s shelter, including increased sanitation and janitorial costs, protective equipment for clients and staff, and any special needs their clients may have.

More about the bank’s response to the virus can be found at bakerboyer.com/coronavirus.

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Jedidiah Maynes can be reached at 509-526-8318 or jedidiahmaynes@wwub.com.

Jedidiah Maynes is the managing editor of Walla Walla Lifestyles magazine. He also writes about business news in the Valley and covers a variety of others topics on occasion. He enjoys making music and puns.