McDonald’s USA Joins Forces with BET & United Way Worldwide to Support African American Communities Hit Hardest by COVID-19 Pandemic

April 29, 2020

April 28, 2020 – McDonald’s USA recently donated $250K to the “Saving Ourselves: A BET COVID-19 Relief Effort,” a 2-hour televised special created in response to the pandemic’s disproportionate effect on African Americans.  The special, which aired April 22 and raised $15M, brought together celebrities, artists and community leaders to raise money to benefit select markets that have been most impacted, while providing much-needed music, laughter, connection and information on the crisis.

“It is an honor to join forces with BET and United Way Worldwide to bring relief to the communities we serve,” said Vicki Chancellor, an Atlanta-based McDonald’s owner/operator and chair of the McDonald’s national franchisee brand committee. “For decades, we’ve been a familiar face and source of comfort in the neighborhoods we serve, which has meant feeding people during crises, providing college scholarships to HBCU students, sponsoring activities that celebrate culture, and much more. Today is no different – we remain committed to community as we navigate this crisis together.”

More than two dozen organizations across the country will benefit from this COVID-19 relief effort, including The Metro Atlanta Urban Farm, YWCA of Metropolitan Chicago, Focus:HOPE of Detroit, Los Angeles’ Community Coalition, New Orleans’ Council on Aging: Meals on Wheels for Seniors, and New York’s Hope Center Development Corporation. These resources will help feed, shelter and educate children, seniors and families.  

As the U.S. battles the COVID-19 pandemic, McDonald’s continues to support its communities. In addition to donating to the BET effort, McDonald’s recently announced the Thank You Meal – a free meal for healthcare workers and first responders through May 5, inspired by McDonald’s franchisees who have been going above and beyond to support their local communities throughout this trying time.

Serving these brave men and women would not be possible without McDonald’s dedicated and unwavering restaurant employees, who are also doing their part to help during this time. McDonald’s employees are the heart of the business, and their health and safety has been, and will continue to be, the company’s top priority. McDonald’s has implemented nearly 50 new safety measures to ensure the well-being of its employees, and is continuing to explore additional safety steps in accordance with guidance issued by local and national health authorities including the CDC.

About McDonald’s Corp. U.S. COVID-19 Relief Efforts
McDonald’s approach to challenging situations is guided by our belief that we are all in this together, and our system has come together in extraordinary ways to help each other, our customers and the communities we serve. In the U.S. we remain committed to leading by example as an organization, which is why we’ve donated $3.1 million in food to support local communities, made commitments to support truck drivers across the country, donated 1 million N95 masks to Chicago and the state of Illinois and donated $1 million to the Illinois COVID-19 Response Fund to ensure non-profits in our home state have the supplies they need during this time. McDonald’s has always been a home base for our communities, and we’re proud to provide calm and comfort to them throughout this crisis. We are here to serve.

About BET

BET, a subsidiary of Viacom CBS Inc. (NASDAQ: VIACA, VIAC), is the nation's leading provider of quality entertainment, music, news, and public affairs television programming for the African-American audience. The primary BET channel is in 90 million households and can be seen in the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, the United Kingdom, sub-Saharan Africa, and France. BET is the dominant African-American consumer brand with a diverse group of business extensions including, a leading Internet destination for Black entertainment, music, culture, and news; BET HER, a 24-hour entertainment network targeting the African-American Woman; BET Music Networks - BET Jams, BET Soul and BET Gospel; BET Home Entertainment; BET Live, BET’s growing festival business; BET Mobile, which provides ringtones, games and video content for wireless devices; and BET International, which operates BET around the globe.

About United Way

United Way fights for the health, education and financial stability of every person in every community. Supported by 2.9 million volunteers, 9.8 million donors worldwide and $4.7 billion raised every year, United Way is the world’s largest privately funded nonprofit. We’re engaged in 1,800 communities across more than 40 countries and territories worldwide to create sustainable solutions to the challenges facing our communities. United Way partners include global, national and local businesses, nonprofits, government, civic and faith-based organizations, along with educators, labor leaders, health providers, senior citizens, students and more. For more information about United Way, please visit Follow us on Twitter: @UnitedWay and #LiveUnited.

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