American TV host Oprah Winfrey donates US$10 million for coronavirus relief

LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) – Oprah Winfrey said on Thursday (April 2) she was donating US$10 million to coronavirus relief efforts, including a new venture to help get food to vulnerable Americans during the coronavirus epidemic.

Winfrey, one of America’s richest and most influential women, made the announcement on her social media platforms.

“I am donating $10 million overall to help Americans during this pandemic in cities across the country and in areas where I grew up,” she said. Winfrey, 66, was born into poverty in Mississippi and raised in Milwaukee and Tennessee.

Part of the money will go towards the new initiative called America’s Food Fund, launched in conjunction with Apple Inc , the Ford Foundation, Laurene Powell Jobs and actor Leonardo DiCaprio.

DiCaprio said in a statement: “In the face of this crisis, organisations like World Central Kitchen and Feeding America have inspired us all with their unwavering commitment to feed the most vulnerable people in need. I thank them for their tireless work on the frontlines, they deserve all of our support.”

It will help feed those most impacted by the coronavirus epidemic in America, including children who rely on school lunch programmes, low-income families, the elderly, and individuals facing job disruptions. It has already raised more than $12 million in donations.

“I still remember growing up with my mother in Milwaukee when we were all out of welfare and sometimes we needed assistance for our family just to survive. At times like this, so many more people are vulnerable,” Winfrey said.

She did not say where she would direct the bulk of her US$10 million donation.

Winfrey made her announcement the same day as United States data showed that a record 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment last week.

@chefjoseandres and Claire Babineaux-Fontenot have teamed up with @leonardodicaprio, Laurene Powell Jobs and @Apple to launch America’s Food Fund to help feed local communities. I was struck by the work these organizations are doing and while everyone’s priority right now is to stay safer at home, I know there are many of us looking for ways to help. I believe that America’s Food Fund will be a powerful way to make a difference for our neighbors in need and am committing $1 million to this fund to support those facing food insecurity. I am donating $10 million overall to help Americans during this pandemic in cities across the country and in areas where I grew up. For more on this Fund and how everyone can be of service, tap the link in my bio to watch this free AppleTV+ conversation.

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Winfrey last month launched a weekly series on Apple’s new streaming service, Apple TV+, called ” Oprah Talks COVID-19,” in which she speaks over video platforms with spiritual leaders and others about how to get through the crisis.

Winfrey, who ended her popular television talk show in 2011 after 25 years, signed a development deal with Apple in 2018 to produce original content for the streaming service.

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