Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos announced on Instagram that he is gifting $100 million to Feeding America “to support those on the front lines at our nation’s food banks and those who are relying on them for food” during this time. “Even in ordinary times, food insecurity in American households is an important problem, and unfortunately COVID-19 is amplifying that stress significantly. Non-profit food banks and food pantries rely in large part on surplus food from a range of food businesses. For example, many restaurants donate excess food. But during this time of social distancing, restaurants are closed, and many other normal channels of excess food have also shut down. To make matters worse, as supply is dwindling, demand for food bank services is going up.
“Today, I want to support those on the front lines at our nation’s food banks and those who are relying on them for food with a $100 million gift to @FeedingAmerica. 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.”
“Feeding America is the largest non-profit focused on food security. Millions of Americans are turning to food banks during this time. If you want to help, the link to Feeding America is in my bio. They’d be excited and grateful for donations of any size” Bezos said in the post.
Feeding America, a Chicago-based nonprofit has more than 200 food banks across the United States. “We are deeply grateful for Jeff Bezos’ generous $100 million contribution to Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund. 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,” said Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America, in a statement.
This isn’t the first time Bezos has donated to a coronavirus relief effort. On March 23, he was one of dozens of donors to contribute to the All in Seattle coalition that funds charitable causes including food security and housing. The coalition raised over $27 million but wouldn’t disclose to CNN Business how much Bezos gave. In late March, Amazon also donated $25 million in a relief fund for Amazon employees and partners.