Oprah Winfrey Donates $10 Million to Coronavirus Relief Efforts and Fighting Food Insecurity
Winfrey spoke with chef José Andrés to reveal that a $1 million portion of her donation will benefit America's Food Fund
Oprah Winfrey is helping to fight the coronavirus in a big way.
The media mogul announced on Thursday that she is donating $10 million to COVID-19 relief efforts — $1 million of which will help those facing food insecurity during the pandemic.
In a new IGTV post, Winfrey spoke with chef José Andrés, founder of World Central Kitchen, and Claire Babineaux-Fontenot, CEO of Feeding America, to reveal her donation. The $1 million will benefit America’s Food Fund, a new initiative launched to help feed local communities during this time. (The remaining $9 million will be divided among charities close to Winfrey’s heart including Minnie’s Food Pantry in Plano, Texas and the Boys and Girls Club in Kosciusko, Mississippi.)
The full conversation with Winfrey, Andrés, and Babineaux-Fontenot is featured on the latest episode of Oprah Talks COVID-19, available now on Apple TV+ with or without a subscription.
“I know not everybody can donate a million dollars, but I feel like this is the central place to [donate to] if you really want to do something,” Winfrey says during their virtual interview. “I know I can trust my money in your hands.”
A stunned Andrés — who could barely believe he was speaking with Winfrey! — immediately expressed his gratitude. “We are so honored to be in your presence giving this fund this kind of visibility,” he says. “We are going to come out of this crisis stronger than ever, making sure we don’t leave anybody behind.”
According to a press release, “America’s Food Fund will address the issue of food access in the United States and will provide funding relief to both organizations in furthering their missions to feed the country’s most vulnerable populations impacted by COVID-19, including children who rely on school lunch programs, low-income families, the elderly, and individuals facing job disruptions.”
Andrés was one of the first to launch relief efforts amid the coronavirus outbreak, when he began serving food to thousands of passengers and crew members on board the quarantined Grand Princess cruise ship in early March. World Central Kitchen supported nearly 2,500 passengers and over 1,000 crew members who spent several days stuck on the ship.
To donate to America’s Food Fund, visit gofundme.com/americasfoodfund.
[Update: As of May 13, America’s Food Fund, the fundraising initiative led by DiCaprio, Laurene Powell Jobs and Apple, with support from Ford Foundation, has raised over $25 million.]
As information about the coronavirus pandemic rapidly changes, PEOPLE is committed to providing the most recent data in our coverage. Some of the information in this story may have changed after publication. For the latest on COVID-19, readers are encouraged to use online resources from CDC, WHO, and local public health departments. To help provide doctors and nurses on the front lines with life-saving medical resources, donate to Direct Relief here.