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Oprah Winfrey donates $10 million to coronavirus relief efforts

Oprah Winfrey has joined the growing list of celebrities who are making personal contributions to aid in the fight against the coronavirus. "I am donating $10 million overall to help Americans during this pandemic in cities across the country and in areas where I grew up," Winfrey announced Thursday.

Her generous commitment includes a $1 million donation to America's Food Fund, who are working with Feeding America and celebrity chef José Andrés' World Central Kitchen.

"I know everybody can't donate a million dollars but I feel like this is the central place to go if you really want to do something," Winfrey told Andrés and Feeding America CEO Claire Babineaux-Fontenot during her latest episode of her Apple TV+ series "Oprah Talks COVID-19."

"I still remember growing up with my mother in Milwaukee when we were all on welfare, and sometimes we needed assistance for our family just to survive. During times like this, so many more people are vulnerable," Winfrey said. "I've been looking for ways to get food to people."

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@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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America's Food Fund, a GoFundMe campaign, was launched by Leonardo DiCaprio, Laurene Powell Jobs and Apple to feed the most vulnerable communities across America during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In the past week alone, some 6.6 million people have filed for unemployment benefits as the financial toll of the coronavirus crisis cripples businesses across the nation. In cities where schools have closed, students and low-income families who depend on school meals have been left to figure out a way to put food on the table.

Chef José Andrés, whose organization World Central Kitchen has provided food relief in response to many urgent situations around the world, said that food they are providing brings a message of hope.

"In times of need, a plate of food is both vital nourishment and a message of hope from the community, that we care and we're here to make sure that tomorrow, things will be better," Andrés said.

The campaign has already raised $12 million of its $15 million goal.

Winfrey and DiCaprio join the many stars who have pledged donations during the crisis. Those include singer Dolly Parton who recently made a $1 million contribution towards coronavirus research efforts at Vanderbilt University. Ryan Reynolds and his wife Blake Lively who gave $1 million to North American food banks.

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