MADISON, Wis. (WFRV) – Two University of Wisconsin alumni are teaming up to combat food insecurities that could be arising as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
The Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association announced on April 21 that former Badgers, Wheels Up CEO Kenny Dichter, and Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson are pledging to donate 10 million meals to the hunger relief organization Feeding America and calling the action, Meals Up.
Wilson says the idea started when he and his wife, singer, and songwriter Ciara began researching Feeding America and thought the program had a great message and purpose.
During a CNBC interview, Wilson said, “Forty years of doing good in the world and trying to make a difference.” The alumni association says Wilson and his wife have already donated one million meals to Feeding America.
Their efforts in Feeding America is said to have inspired Kenny Dichter to do the same. Dichter has now created a network and resources in an effort to help Americans during the coronavirus pandemic.
“There are 37 million Americans that are food insecure on a regular day,” Dichter told CNBC. “The worry is that this may double,” Wilson said.
According to Feeding America, 92 percent of food banks reported seeing an increase in demand for food assistance between March 19 and March 23, and 64 percent of food banks reported a decline in food donations and volunteers during the same survey period.
Feeding America says a $1 donation helps provide 10 meals and more than 98 percent of the money donated goes directly to those in need, “It really makes a difference,” Wilson said.
The former Badgers said they are contacting other celebrities to also help get involved in the effort of Feeding America.