Jeff Bezos is donating $100 million to US food banks to help them feed a growing number of out-of-work Americans who are losing their jobs during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The Amazon CEO donated to Feeding America, a Chicago-based nonprofit with more than 200 food banks across the United States.
Bezos posted to Instagram a photo of a food bank, captioning it, “Even in ordinary times, food insecurity in American households is an important problem, and unfortunately Covid-19 is amplifying that stress.” He noted that restaurants are closed, and many churches that provide free meals are closed too, because of social distancing mandates.
“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.
Bezos added a link to Feeding America in his Instagram bio, saying “if you want to help,” the organization is open to donations of any size.
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.
People on social media have called for Bezos to donate some of his wealth to help Amazon workers.
In late March, Amazon donated $25 million in a relief fund for Amazon employees and partners. But it confused and angered people that the fund’s page allows for public donations. Amazon later amended the website to say, “While we aren’t expecting anyone to do so, you can make a voluntary donation to the fund if you desire to do so.”
Amazon noted that it was required to solicit public donations to set up the relief fund.
“The structure to operate a fund like this, which hundreds of companies do through the same third-party, requires the program to be open to public contributions but we are not soliciting those contributions in any way,” Amazon told CNN Business in a statement on March 24.
In February, the tech billionaire pledged $10 billion to fight climate change, after Amazon employees pressured him and the company publicly.