Oprah Winfrey Donates $10 Million to Coronavirus Relief Efforts, Teams With Leonardo DiCaprio For Apple Food Fund

Elizabeth Wagmeister

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Oprah Winfrey announced Thursday that she is donating $10 million to help with coronavirus relief efforts.

Her pledge, benefitting Americans during the global health crisis, comes after the news last week that 6.6 million people in the United States filed for unemployment.

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As part of a partnership with Apple, $1 million of Winfrey’s donation will go directly to a food fund. Leonardo DiCaprio is also teaming up with Apple and the Ford Foundation to help launch America’s Food Fund to help feed local communities, along with businesswoman Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Apple co-founder, Steve Jobs.

“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,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a statement. “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.”

America’s Food Fund will work towards the issue of food access in the United States, providing funding relief to organizations assisting people who do not have access to food during these times, including children who rely on school lunch programs, low-income families, the elderly and individuals who have been furloughed or lost their jobs.

The fund launched with $12 million, and will be hosted by GoFundMe. Organizations who will benefit from the fund are Feeding America and World Central Kitchen, the non-profit founded by celebrity chef José Andrés.

“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,” DiCaprio said in a statement. “I thank them for their tireless work on the frontlines, they deserve all of our support.”

Winfrey has been hosting a free series, streaming on Apple TV+, “Oprah Talks COVID-19.” With the launch of America’s Food Fund, the latest episode features Winfrey speaking with with Andrés and Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, the CEO of Feeding America.

Winfrey and DiCaprio are some of many Hollywood figures who have contributed funds to coronavirus relief efforts, including Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds, who donated $1 million to Feeding America and Food Banks Canada and Rihanna, whose Clara Lionel Foundation has donated at least $5 million.

As the coronavirus crisis evolves, America’s Food Fund will continue to monitor food gaps, and will look to partner with more organizations working in the space of food insecurity, including Gate Gourmet, Share Our Strength, Revolution Foods and more. One hundred percent of the donations on America’s Food Fund GoFundMe page will go towards delivering meals to people impacted by COVID-19.

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