This week, World Central Kitchen, founded by certified good guy Jose Andres, received a gift of $100 million from Amazon founder/astronaut-in-training Jeff Bezos. How amazing is that? That would be like me taking every penny I ever had and will ever have in my life, multiplying it by... well, a lot, and giving it all away to help feed people in need. That’s one hell of a sacrifice! Of course, the math is a teensy bit different for the Amazon founder, who is coming off one hell of a fiscal year—$386 billion—thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, which made society ever more dependent on Bezos’ company. Using data from the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, Britain’s Independent calculates that Bezos makes about $205 million per day.
After successfully flying a giant penis to space and back again on Tuesday morning, Bezos held a press conference in which he graciously thanked Amazon employees for paying for his trip to space by working hard for low wages and having such a steadfast commitment to the company that they’re willing to pee in bottles in order to get more work done. He then announced he had created something called a “Courage and Civility Award,” which comes with a $100 million cash prize, and that he would be giving the first two awards to CNN corespondent Van Jones and Jose Andres.
“We need unifiers and not vilifiers, people who argue hard and act hard for what they truly believe, but always with civility and never ad hominem attacks,” said Bezos. “And unfortunately we live in a world where this is too often not the case.”
Since Andres founded World Central Kitchen 2010, the mobile community kitchen has served over 50 million meals to people in crisis and has given financial grants to farms, fisheries, and small food businesses in times of need. Andres has said his dream for World Central Kitchen is to double the amount of food aid it provides, and to develop safe, hygienic cooking methods to help over 3 billion people living in extreme poverty.
“This award itself cannot feed the world on its own,” said Andres. “But this is the start of a new chapter for us. It will allow us to think beyond the next hurricane to the bigger challenges we face.”
Mr. Bezos, if you’re reading: The extra funding for World Central Kitchen is a great start—and we have many more ideas for how you can help reduce human suffering, if you’re interested!