Leonardo DiCaprio, Laurene Powell Jobs, Apple and the Ford Foundation have come together to raise $12 million for the launch of America’s Food Fund, which will support Americans facing food insecurity during the coronavirus pandemic.
The initiative is hosted by social fundraising platform GoFundMe, and the proceeds will go to both the World Central Kitchen (WCK) and to Feeding America, whose goals are to feed children who rely on school lunch programs, low-income families, the elderly, and those who have been put out of work due to COVID-19.
Oprah Winfrey also committed to donating $1 million to the Fund, and $10 million overall “to help Americans during this pandemic in cities across the country and in areas where I grew up,” she said in a tweet Thursday.
Earlier this week, Winfrey sat down with Chef José Andrés and Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America, to discuss the Fund for “Oprah Talks COVID-19” on Apple TV+.
“In the face of this crisis, organizations like World Central Kitchen and Feeding America have inspired us all with their unwavering commitment to feed the most vulnerable people in need. I thank them for their tireless work on the frontlines, they deserve all of our support,” said DiCaprio.
“We are in the midst of a national emergency, and it is vital we prioritize the most urgent needs, said Laurene Powell Jobs. “With millions losing their jobs and programs like school lunches in jeopardy, making sure Americans aren’t going hungry is of the utmost urgency. America’s Food Fund supports excellent programs that are prepared to aid in the crisis now.”
“On behalf of Feeding America, I would like to thank Leonardo DiCaprio, Laurene Powell Jobs and Tim Cook for their generosity and support, which will help our network of food banks provide food and other resources to communities impacted by this crisis,” said Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America. “Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, 37 million people in this country did not have consistent access to nutritious meals – including 11 million children and 5.5 million seniors. These numbers are quickly rising, and it is critical that we rally together as a nation to support our neighbors during this time of great need.”
“In times of need, a plate of food is both vital nourishment and a message of hope from the community, that we care and we’re here to make sure that tomorrow, things will be better,” said José Andrés. “Now more than ever – for our frontline heroes, our most vulnerable neighbors, and our out-of-work restaurant workers – WCK is prepared to make sure that food is part of the solution.”
“No one can be well if they’re not well-fed, and we can only overcome this crisis if we make sure that every person has the essentials that they need to care for themselves, their families and the vulnerable people in their lives,” said Apple CEO Tim Cook. “World Central Kitchen and Feeding America do heroic work, and if there is any lesson in this time that we must spend apart, it’s that we are stronger and more resilient when we support one another.”