The social media giant TikTok said that it would donate $3 million to After-School All-Stars, a charity founded by actor and former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, to feed families whose food security was affected by the close of public schools in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
TikTok said in a statement Thursday that families in 60 cities with After-School All-Stars chapters would receive food vouchers and gift cards that can be spent on food and other essentials through local grocery stores.
"We are all operating in uncertain times, and it's more important now than ever before for both our local and global communities to come together to help those in need," said Vanessa Pappas, general manager of TikTok U.S., in a statement. "This pledge to ASAS will help more students get access to meals, safely provided to them, during this crisis. While this alone won't mitigate the impact of the current situation, we hope it can relieve one worry for parents who are balancing social distancing mandates, work and caring for children who can no longer go to school each day."
Chapters in cities that have been hardest hit by the epidemic will receive the aid, including Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Newark, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington. Corporate partners in the initiative include Food Land, Giant, Kroger, Publix, Ralphs, Safeway, Target and Walmart .
TikTok, which is owned by the Chinese media company Bytedance, also said it would match up to $1 million in employee donations to the ASAS to boost the organization's ability to provide food.
"During a crisis, improvisation is critical and everyone has to look at new ways to help the most vulnerable," said Schwarzenegger. "The After-School All-Stars programs are paused with schools closed, but we remain committed to supporting the 100,000 families we work with year-round. When I founded After-School All-Stars in 1992, the goal was always to support the families who need it the most. I'm grateful to TikTok for their donation which allows us to shift our priorities so our team can safely deliver groceries and gift cards for groceries to the families we help."