As schools across the country close, one of the greatest challenges facing many parents is how to feed their children.
Millions of students, teachers and families depend on school resources for more than learning. Today, TikTok announced it is partnering with After-School All-Stars (ASAS) to provide critical meal support to those in need. TikTok’s $3M donation will enable ASAS, an organization founded by former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, to feed families affected by school closings due to COVID-19. Families in 60 cities across the U.S. with ASAS chapters will receive food vouchers and gift cards to be used on food and other essential items through local grocery store partners.
“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. “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.”
ASAS’ distribution of food credits and gift cards will first reach families in highly impacted cities, including Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, New Jersey, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington D.C., and more. The organization is working with local grocery partners including Food Land, Giant, Kroger, Publix, Ralphs, Safeway, Target, and Walmart. These resources will help the communities that have been hit the hardest by the residual impact of the coronavirus pandemic. TikTok will also match up to $1M in employee donations to ASAS to further the organization’s ability to provide food for those in need.
“During a crisis, improvisation is critical and everyone has to look at new ways to help the most vulnerable,” said Arnold Schwarzenegger, former California Governor and Founder of After-School All-Stars. “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.”
Schwarzenegger shared additional information about After-School All-Stars and the partnership with TikTok in a video shared to his TikTok page @arnoldschnitzel.
Added Ben Paul, President and CEO, After-School All-Stars: “The communities we serve are already very vulnerable, and this situation has further magnified the hardships many families face. This crisis has had a profound impact on millions of people, and I’m heartened by the tremendous generosity, collaboration and creativity that we’ve seen across communities and industries. I am excited to work with TikTok as we address immediate needs and examine the unique role that technology plays in bringing individuals and communities together.”
To further support the community, TikTok’s online Safety Center, developed in partnership with trusted local health officials, is being regularly updated with information on how people can stay connected and safe during this time.