A fundraising effort from chip maker Tostitos blends Cinco de Mayo joy with charitable giving. The Plano, Texas-based snack brand has pledged a minimum of $100,000, with potential for another $100,000 based on the number of registrants to a free live-streamed salsa dancing class.
The effort, “Salsa for Cinco,” features former Dancing with the Stars contestant Mario Lopez and his wife, Broadway dancer and actress Courtney Lopez. The class is being hosted on Mario Lopez’s Instagram Live page (@mariolopez) today at 7 p.m. Eastern. The class is open to all levels of dance enthusiasts, and does not require any preparation.
The proceeds will provide cash assistance to 125 Latino families who, due to the Covid-19 crisis, are struggling to pay for basic needs. In addition to its initial pledge, Tostitos will donate $5 per registrant, up to 20,000 registrants, to the program.
Tostitos parent company Frito-Lay is coordinating the fundraiser with UnidosUS, formerly the National Council of La Raza, a Latino civil rights and advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C. A statement from Tostitos referenced statistics from the Pew Economic Policy Institute reflecting how hard Covid-19 has affected the Latino community:
- While one-third of all U.S. adults have lost a job or taken a pay cut due to the virus, half of Latinos have experienced one or the other.
- Just under half of the general U.S. population believe Covid-19 is a major threat to their health and finances, compared to more than two-thirds of Latinos.
- Restaurant, hospitality and other industries which represent high risks of health and economic threat employ 8 million Latinos.
- Latinos are about half as likely as other Americans to have jobs that allow them to work from home.
Spokespeople for UnidosUS and Frito-Lay did not have estimates regarding the number of pre-registrants at deadline.