Amazon.com founder and CEO Jeff Bezos has announced a pledge of $100 million to Feeding America — the largest gift in the organization’s history — in support of efforts to address rising food insecurity related to the COVID-19 public health crisis.
“Today, I want to support those on the frontlines at our nation’s food banks and those who are relying on them for food with a $100 million gift to @FeedingAmerica,” Bezos wrote in an Instagram post announcing the commitment. “Feeding America will quickly distribute the funds to their national network of food banks and food pantries, getting food to those countless families who need it.”
In his post, Bezos noted that food banks and pantries that rely in large part on surplus food donated by restaurants and businesses are seeing those supply channels disrupted at the same time as they are facing surging demand from individuals and families impacted by coronavirus-related school closures and job loss. The day before Bezos’ announcement, Feeding America estimated that its two hundred member food banks would require $1.4 billion in additional resources over the next six months to provide food for Americans struggling with hunger — an increase of 30 percent over its baseline six-month operating costs.
“We are deeply grateful for Jeff Bezos’ generous $100 million contribution to Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund,” said Feeding America CEO Claire Babineaux-Fontenot. “This donation, the largest single gift in our history, will enable us to provide more food to millions of our neighbors facing hardship during this crisis. Countless lives will be changed because of his generosity.”