BlackRock Commits $50m To COVID-19 Relief Efforts03.24.2020
Our hearts go out to all those already affected by COVID-19’s rapid spread. At BlackRock, we are committed to supporting people impacted by this global crisis, especially in the communities where we operate. This includes support for the people and programs providing direct services on the frontlines and for the most financially vulnerable members of our global community who will feel its impact hardest, today and in the months to come.
Our hearts go out to those affected by #COVID19’s rapid spread. We know that we can do much more together than we can alone, which is why we're working with a range of partners to provide essential resources now & for those who need them most. Learn more: https://t.co/bY5VWSeHZW pic.twitter.com/xgzHZMyGJ3
— BlackRock (@blackrock) March 24, 2020
We are committing $50 million to relief efforts, helping meet immediate needs of those most affected right now and by addressing the financial hardship and social dislocation that this pandemic will bring as families grapple with job disruptions, school closures and unexpected parental, childcare and medical costs.
We know that we can do much more together than we can alone, which is why we are working with a range of partners to provide essential resources now and for those who need them most. Recognizing that the immediate needs of communities will be different than those that will emerge in the months ahead, we will phase our funding to first support frontline responders locally, regionally, and globally.
Starting immediately to meet the needs of the most vulnerable people – globally, regionally and locally
Our first tranche of $18 million in funding has been deployed to food banks and community organizations across America and Europe working directly with vulnerable populations. We’ve learned from past emergency relief efforts that in addition to nourishment, food banks also provide a vital lifeline amid the uncertainty and confusion. Our food bank partners tell us that they’re already struggling with declining volunteer numbers and retail donations, compelling them in real time to redesign their operating model. We’re committed to helping bridge the gap. Allocations include:
In the U.S.
- $5 million to Feeding America® where BlackRock will be a leading funder of Feeding America’s national COVID-19 campaign to raise $100 million. The situation is changing rapidly, but the organization expects to see a significant increase in demand above the 5.3 billion pounds of food distributed by their network of 200 food banks and 60,000 pantries across the country.
- $2 million to partner food banks where BlackRock employees volunteer, including City Harvest in New York City, SF-Marin and Alameda County Food Bank in the Bay Area and the Atlanta Community Food Bank, as well as others working to meet increased demand in Boston, Wilmington, New Jersey and Seattle, cities where our employees live and work.
- $2 million to The Robin Hood Foundation Relief Fund to fund the emergency needs of their 220 grantees and to offer cash support to other nonprofits serving low-income New Yorkers. In the first week of operation, RH’s Relief Fund has already funded 8 food groups, 4 housing groups and 9 organizations that will serve as conduits for direct assistance for the most marginalized populations.
- $1 million to the Tipping Point Community COVID-19 Response Campaign to provide immediate support to their 55+ grantees fighting poverty across the Bay Area. Funds raised from the campaign will aim to stabilize Bay Area nonprofits as quickly as possible and to directly support individuals no longer able to meet their basic needs, including feeding their families and remaining stably housed.
- $2.25 million to national food bank networks working to meet dramatically increased demand, including Banco Alimentare in Italy, La Federación Española de Bancos de Alimento in Spain and others working across France and Germany.
- $2 million to National Emergencies Trust (UK), an independent domestic disaster response organization working with community foundations and local charities to provide vital support to people in the quickest way possible.
- $1.25 million for critical medical response, supplies and medical professionals working in hospitals across the continent including Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).
- $500,000 to the Global FoodBanking Network, which will serve as our partner in meeting ongoing needs in Asia and the emerging crisis in Latin America.
In Asia since January, BlackRock has provided support to Give2Asia, where our funding earlier this year supported the Wuhan Jinyintan Hospital to procure urgently needed medical equipment supplies.
We know this is just a start, but with these near-term commitments, we aim to draw on the experience of our Social Impact team in building community resilience through longstanding partnerships, like those we have built in BlackRock’s Emergency Savings Initiative.
Empowering BlackRock’s people and standing by those who support us
COVID-19 is a stark test to companies everywhere. BlackRock Is working hard to support all of our people through this crisis.
Many of our own people are stepping up to support emergency relief in their own communities. To amplify these important efforts, we have doubled BlackRock’s match for employee contributions to their local organizations addressing the crisis in their communities.
BlackRock’s global workforce also includes people with many different roles, all of whom are vital to our daily operations. We recognize that the work of some people who support our facilities – such as cafeteria and maintenance staff – will be interrupted as we adapt our operations. BlackRock will continue to support these individuals during this time, including providing compensation even if they are unable to work.
There’s no doubt that there is much uncertainty ahead as we continue to address this fast-moving global challenge, an effort that we believe will require unparalleled global cooperation. We’re committed to doing everything we can as part of that response to ensure our communities are resilient in the face of this unprecedented challenge. We’ll keep all our stakeholders informed of what we learn as we tackle this crisis together.
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