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As the coronavirus crisis leads to widespread concerns about how Americans will continue to put food on the table and take care of their families, a growing number of entertainment companies and celebrities are stepping up to help.
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Netflix announced on March 20 that it had set up a $100 million fund to assist creatives whose jobs have been affected by the ongoing pandemic. In response to many productions globally shutting down, the streaming giant said it will help support those in the entertainment community who have found themselves out of work. The majority of funds will go to workers affected by the collapse of Netflix’s own productions, such as season two of The Witcher, which halted production when actor Kristofer Hivju tested positive for the virus.
Apple has pledged to donate millions of face masks for healthcare workers in areas hardest hit by coronavirus, Vice President Mike Pence announced at the daily White House briefing on Saturday, March 21. Shortly after the briefing, Apple CEO Tim Cook said the masks will go to health care professionals in the U.S. and Europe. “To every one of the heroes on the front lines, we thank you,” Cook tweeted.
Matthew McConaughey, the Creative Artists Agency and Ali Larter are among those who have pledged to help the Los Angeles Unified School District keep kids fed and in touch with their teachers during the coronavirus shutdown. School Superintendent Austin Beutner kicked off a program earlier this week, to provide hundreds of thousands of meals daily to low-income students. With 80% of the district’s students living at or below the poverty line, Beutner said children and their families can pick up “grab and go” meals at 60 different campuses across the district.
Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively announced plans to donate $1 million to food banks amid the coronavirus pandemic. In social media posts on March 16, the married actors said they would split the money between Feeding America and Food Banks Canada.
Rihanna is donating $5 million to help via her Clara Lionel Foundation. The singer and beauty mogul made the pledge to support several organizations, including food banks in at-risk communities throughout the U.S. The money will also go toward providing medical workers with protective equipment and supplies, TMZ reported.
Singer-songwriter Jewel hosted what she billed as the “Live From San Quarantine: A Livestream” concert via her social media pages on March 21. The concert featured music and conversation about rising above adversity. The event was organized to raise money for Jewel’s Never Broken program powered by the Inspiring Children Foundation, which was due to hold a fundraiser that was canceled due to the COVID-19 crisis. The program helps at-risk youth with housing, food, clothing, and other necessities.
Kelly Ripa and husband Mark Consuelos donated $1 million to the New York Governor’s office. The money will be used to purchase urgently needed ventilators and to help the WIN organization, which runs about a dozen women’s shelters in New York City. “We’re so grateful to @kellyripa & @instasuelos for your incredible generosity during this crisis,” WIN tweeted on March 19. “This has a HUGE impact on the women & kids who make up 70% of NYC’s #homeless. On behalf of the thousands of moms & children we serve thank you!”
Bruce Haring contributed to this report.
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