(CBS NEWS) -- Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos is donating $100 million to food banks across the U.S. so they can feed needy Americans as the novel coronavirus cripples the economy.
"Even in ordinary times, food insecurity in American households is an important problem, and unfortunately COVID-19 is amplifying that stress significantly," Bezos said on Instagram Thursday. "Millions of Americans are turning to food banks during this time."
The donation will go to Feeding America, a Chicago-based network of more than 200 food banks that feed 46 million people. Forbes ranked Feeding America the second-largest U.S. charity by revenue. The nonprofit generated $2.9 billion in revenue in 2019, most of which went toward sending food to pantries, according to a 2019 financial report.
View this post on Instagram
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. Today, I want to support those on the front lines at our nation’s food banks and those who are relying on them for food with a $100 million gift to @FeedingAmerica. Feeding America will quickly distribute the funds to their national network of food banks and food pantries, getting food to those countless families who need it. Feeding America is the largest non-profit focused on food security. Millions of Americans are turning to food banks during this time. If you want to help, the link to Feeding America is in my bio. They’d be excited and grateful for donations of any size.
“Feeding America will quickly distribute the funds to their national network of food banks and food pantries, getting food to those countless families who need it,” Bezos said.
Feeding America CEO Claire Babineaux-Fontenot said Bezos's donation is the largest single gift in the organization's history.
"We are deeply grateful for Jeff Bezos's generous $100 million contribution to Feeding America's COVID-19 Response Fund," she said in a statement. "Countless lives will be changed because of his generosity."
Bezos's food bank donation marks the second big financial commitment he has made this year. In February, he pledged $10 billion to help fight climate change. That money is slated for grants to scientists, activists and nonprofits working to protect the Earth.
In 2018, Bezos also launched a $2 billion fund to open preschools in low-income neighborhoods and offer aid to nonprofits that help the homeless.
Copyright 2020 WBTV. All rights reserved.