Apple has made a donation to a new fundraising campaign, the United States Food Fund, along with Laurene Powell Jobs, Leonardo DiCaprio and the Ford Foundation. Together, they have contributed $ 12 million toward the $ 15 million goal for the new initiative hosted on the GoFundMe fundraising platform. Proceeds will go to benefit World Central Kitchen and Feeding America.
The first was founded in 2020 by chef José Andrés to provide meals to the hungry in the wake of natural and man-made disasters around the world. Since its debut, World Central Kitchen has served more than 15 million meals in 19 disasters, including Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas and Hurricane Maria. It also served 3.7 million meals in 2017-2018 in Puerto Rico.
The organization began its COVID-19 relief efforts by deploying food to quarantined cruise ship passengers. Now he's working to feed vulnerable communities and front-line medical professionals through mobile distributions and restaurant partners.
Chef José Andrés and World Central Kitchen CEO Claire Babineaux-Fontenot also sat down with Oprah Winfrey on her new Apple TV + show "Oprah Talks COVID-19" to discuss their efforts.
Meanwhile, Feeding America is the largest hunger relief organization in the US. USA, which serves more than 40 million Americans through a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs with a US presence. USA Its COVID-19 relief efforts involve the Response Fund, launched to help member food banks secure the resources they need to continue their operations.
The choice to essentially run a GoFundMe campaign for the United States Food Fund is unusual. Frankly, optics is not great here.
Most of the philanthropic efforts of corporations or high net worth individuals so far during the COVID-19 outbreak have involved direct donations to nonprofits, food banks, and other relief efforts. If $ 15 million is what it takes nowSo the donors involved here should have given the $ 15 million. But instead, they have donated $ 12 million and launched this campaign in the hope that "we ordinary people" will contribute the rest.
“If you are able to contribute and have the means to take action, we hope you donate today. No dollar amount is too small. " the GoFundMe campaign reads.
That is asking people who are far more affected by the coronavirus crisis than Jobs or DiCaprio to step forward at a time when job security is questionable, food prices are rising and the threat of job loss. Due to an infection it is also a serious concern. It's wonderful that people are willing to do this, but there is something odd about billionaires and millionaires acting as if we are all in this together. They have their yachts, after all. Everyone else is just trying to survive.
The campaign is also losing a percentage of donations to fees. (GoFundMe will charge 2.9% and a $ 0.30 fee per donation transaction.) A cash donation directly to organizations that need it would be preferable. Even a campaign where you can donate online directly to the selected organization would be an improvement.
On the World Central Kitchen site, for example, there is a check box where you can choose to cover the fees with your donation. On the Feeding America site, you have the option to commit to a monthly donation and you are also explicitly informed of how much your donation will provide in cash, in terms of meals.
To date, several high net worth individuals have donated on their own to various relief efforts during the COVID-19 outbreak. Winfrey, for example, gave $ 10 million to coronavirus relief efforts, of which $ 1 million went to this new campaign by the United States Food Fund. Jeff Bezos announced today a direct donation of $ 100 million to Feeding America. Michael Bloomberg is committing $ 40 million to combat the spread of the virus in low- and middle-income countries. Dolly Parton donated $ 1 million for the coronavirus investigation. Actors Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively said they were donating $ 1 million to food banks.
And through their respective foundations, Bill Gates contributed $ 100 million; Jack Ma promised $ 14 million; Ralph Lauren donated $ 10 million; and Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan donated $ 30 million to various COVID-19 efforts.
If you want to donate to a local food bank to feed the hungry, or volunteer, in your own neighborhood, you can do so from the Feeding America website here. From your search results, you will get the web addresses of your city's food banks. And from their own websites, you can find out how to donate directly.