By Vanessa Pappas, General Manager, TikTok US
As schools across the country close, one of the greatest challenges facing many parents is how to feed their children. Millions of students, teachers and families depend on school resources for more than learning. The reality of this struck a nerve for the TikTok family, with many parents on our team and countless students, parents, families, and teachers in our community. As a company, we are committed to helping the broader TikTok family navigate through this extraordinarily difficult time.
We are all operating in uncertain times, and it’s more important now than ever before, for both our local and global communities to come together to help those in need. Today we are donating $3M through a partnership with After-School All-Stars (ASAS) to help provide food for families who have been impacted by the loss of access to free or reduced-cost school meals. ASAS, an organization founded by former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger that provides school-based, free, comprehensive after-school programs, is currently supporting 100,000 families year-round across 13 different states.
Our donation will aid in the distribution of food credits and gift cards for local grocery partners, providing critical support for families in 60 cities across the U.S., including Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, Newark, San Francisco, Seattle, Washington D.C., and more. These resources will help communities that have been hit the hardest by the residual impact of the coronavirus pandemic. And while this alone won’t mitigate the impact of the current situation, we hope it can relieve one worry for parents who are balancing social distancing mandates, work and caring for children who can no longer go to school each day. In addition, TikTok will also match up to $1M in employee donations to ASAS to further the organization's ability to provide food for those in need.
"While our After-School All-Stars programs are paused with schools closed, we take our responsibility to serve the 100,000 families we work with year-round to provide a safe place for their children to learn and grow after-school seriously. When I founded After-School All-Stars in 1992, the goal was always to support the families who need us the most. I want to thank my friends at TikTok for their donation, because it will allow us to pivot to use our After-School All-Stars team to deliver groceries and gift cards for groceries to the families we help."
– Arnold Schwarzenegger, Former Gov. California and Founder of After-School All-Stars
We will also continue to use our platform to facilitate other partnerships that will benefit families across the country and around the world. We are mindful of the role TikTok plays in the lives of the people who rely on us daily and will do everything in our power to ensure that our platform and resources help people through this difficult period.
To learn more about TikTok's effort to support our community, visit our COVID-19 resources on our Safety Center.