The Community Action Partnership of Orange County announced Friday it has raised $410,049 through a matching challenge to help the OC Food Bank meet dramatically increased demand.
The challenge was initiated by philanthropist Mohamed A. El-Erian, a longtime resident of Orange County and chief economic adviser at Allianz, the corporate parent of the Newport Beach-based fixed income investment managers PIMCO, where he was CEO and co-chief investment officer. The campaign began April 20 as the devastating economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic hit a peak.
"In over a decade of working with the OC Food Bank, I have never seen so many local families forced to turn to our committed colleagues there for emergency help," El-Erian said.
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"It is an unprecedented situation that comes at an incredibly uncertain and unsettling time for all. I am grateful that many of our neighbors here in Orange County and beyond stepped up to support this important initiative."
El-Erian committed $250,000 upfront, matching $2 for every $1 donated during the campaign. A total of 560 individuals, many first-time donors, made contributions.
The funds raised will support the purchase of emergency food items for newly vulnerable families in Orange County. Non-perishable items such as rice, beans, pasta, cereal and other basic necessities will be purchased and packaged in emergency food boxes to distribute to more than 200,000 people monthly.
"We are incredibly humbled by the breadth and depth of support that has been shown by Dr. El-Erian, who has been a longtime supporter of the OC Food Bank. Thanks to his leadership and incredible generosity we have been successful in raising the needed funds to help combat the increased need," CAP OC president and CEO Gregory Scott said.
The Community Action Partnership of Orange County was established in 1965 and has evolved into a comprehensive anti-hunger and poverty relief organization.