Each of our affiliates has its own president/CEO who is advised by a local board. In addition, we maintain a network of experienced and committed community development professionals. These local experts are responsible for conducting outreach to monitor community credit and capital needs, and to seek opportunities for partnerships. Employing a team in each of our markets allows us to stay close to the issues facing our communities and guides our investments and other meaningful activities.
In 2012, we again offered non-profit organizations the opportunity to enhance their knowledge about community development industry trends, research findings, and best practices through the Bank's Empowering Community Leaders Scholarship Program. We developed this program to address the unfortunate fact that non-profit participation in continuing education courses is limited due to budget constraints. In 2012, we offered 10 seasoned and emerging leaders full scholarships to attend a highly regarded Federal Reserve-sponsored forum on community development.
The Bank's Enterprise Investment Fund (EIF) continues to support the most underserved communities in our footprint. Over the past two years, we have channeled $2.3 million directly into local markets where our local leaders have identified the areas of greatest need. Our affiliates accessed nearly $900,000 in 2012 on behalf of their communities by applying for EIF grants.
In 2012, Fifth Third Bank (Northeastern Ohio) requested an EIF grant on behalf of the Akron-Canton Foodbank. The $25,000 grant supported the organization's Direct Distribution program that provides resources and food delivery to underserved individuals in local counties. Fifth Third Bank (North Carolina) and Fifth Third Bank (Chicago) used EIF funds to provide down payment assistance to eligible low-to moderate-income families. Meanwhile, Fifth Third Bank (Tennessee) used EIF funds to partner with Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Middle Tennessee to support its Parent Engagement programs.
In addition to the EIF, our affiliates seek opportunities to drive community priorities through financial and other support. Fifth Third Bank (Eastern Michigan) donated a former banking center building to facilitate the expansion of the Algonac Clay Township Historical Society. The affiliate also partnered with the city of Detroit, Detroit Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), and Urban Neighborhood Initiatives to launch Phase II of the city's White Picket Fence Program, which works to eradicate blight in the North End community of Detroit.