Google to Donate $2 Million in Cash, Ads to Anti-Hunger Efforts

Google will donate $2 million in cash and donated ads to 20 food assistance organizations, food banks and food pantries across the United States. Organizations will be chosen based on their demonstrated innovation ability in meeting the needs of their communities.

The donations are on top of $20 million in employee donations and company matching funds contributed to anti-food-insecurity efforts made since the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

The donations come at a time when internet searches for “food bank” and “food pantry” spike by between 30% and 50%, reflecting the advent of food-focused holiday seasons, according to a statement from Google.

Each of the selected food assistance organizations will receive $50,000. Additionally, Google is contributing $1 million in AdGrants and skills-based volunteering. The 20 organizations will each receive $15,000 in search ads for three months, enabling them to tout their programs, call for volunteers, advertise their presence or otherwise make their offerings known.

Every organization will also receive three months of account management support from Google volunteers. The volunteers will help the organizations set up and optimize their campaigns.

Additionally, Google has paired up with two New York City-based food insecurity nonprofits, Hunger Free America and WhyHunger. Together, the three organizations are adding and updating food bank and pantry listings within Google Maps and Search. This project was facilitated by more than 100 Google volunteers who spent more than 7,000 hours on the phone verifying Google Maps listings.

Google is also touting the Google My Business features it has developed which allow food banks, pantries and soup kitchens to highlight appointment availability, hours of operation, services and types of donations accepted at their locations.

Google has also augmented its search results for federal benefits such as the Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance program (SNAP). Effective Nov. 18, when individuals search for “SNAP benefits” or the name of their local SNAP program, they will find direct links to each states application process and eligibility guidelines, as well as information about local food assistance agencies.

Individuals will also be able to search for convenience stores, farmers’ markets and grocery stores that take Electronic Benefit Transfer cards (EBT) as payment. EBT cards are used to provide food stamp benefits.

The 20 organizations that will benefit from Google’s donations include:

  • 412 Food Rescue, Pittsburgh
  • Atlanta Community Food Bank, Atlanta
  • Arizona Food Bank Network, Phoenix
  • Central Texas Food Bank, Austin, Texas
  • Chefs to End Hunger, Santa Fe Springs, Calif.
  • City Harvest, New York City
  • Connecticut Food Bank/Foodshare, Bloomfield, Conn.
  • The Farmlink Project, Los Angeles
  • FeedNC, Mooresville, N.C.
  • Food Bank of the Rockies, Denver
  • Food Lifeline, Seattle
  • Forgotten Harvest, Oak Park, Mich.
  • Greater Chicago Food Depository, Chicago
  • Hunger Free America, New York City
  • Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, Los Angeles
  • Micah House, Council Bluffs, Iowa
  • Project Open Hand, San Francisco
  • WhyHunger, New York City
  • World Central Kitchen, Washington, DC
  • The Kroger Co. Zero Hunger Zero Waste Foundation, Cincinnati