The coronavirus pandemic is a deadly, wide-ranging problem with ramifications that will probably only be known fully to history, if ever. One of the many problems that are made worse by the situation is food insecurity, which means that food banks and non-profit organizations like Feeding America need more financial support than ever. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos evidently agrees, since he recently announced a pledge of $100 million to Feeding America.
Bezos took to Instagram to announce the gift, explaining that while the work Feeding America does under normal circumstances is important enough, the current economic hardships being faced by millions put out of work by quarantine measures make it even more so:
"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."
That means that Bezos's $100 million donation is coming at a good time for Feeding America, but as the organization's chief executive Claire Babineaux-Fontenot said in her own press statement, it's also an unprecedentedly large one:
"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."
Bezos has faced criticism from numerous sources for his perceived lack of commitment to philanthropy, but in recent years he's made a few big pledges in addition to this most recent one. Earlier this year he pledged $10 billion towards efforts to fight climate change, and in 2018 he put $2 billion towards establishing the Bezos Day One Fund for various philanthropic causes, mostly related to education and homelessness.