"By giving we can inspire hope when all hope has been lost, and make the world a better place," says George Clooney in a PSA for the Global Emergency Response Coalition, formed in 2017 to address an international hunger crisis. But Clooney doesn't just talk the talk—he's deeply committed to well over 30 charities. Click through for more on his efforts and those of other celebrities who have taken action against hunger and homelessness.
In 2017, George Clooney stepped in to support the Global Emergency Response Coalition's newly created Hunger Relief Fund, a response to famine threatening the people of countries including South Sudan, Nigeria, Yemen and Somalia. The two-time Oscar winner is known for his hands-on approach to philanthropy. In 2015, he even made sandwiches at Social Bite (seen here), a nonprofit café in Scotland that has a program that enables customers to buy food for a homeless person. Clooney spontaneously donated $1,000 to the café.
Long an advocate for the homeless and the hungry, Beyoncé has partnered with a variety of anti-hunger organizations, including Feeding America and the Houston Food Bank. The singer also led the charge in helping the homeless in her hometown of Houston, Texas. She has given millions to the Knowles-Temenos Place Apartments, housing that supports its residents by providing meals, job readiness training, HIV/AIDs screening and other services.
Oscar-winner Jeff Bridges is a pioneer in the celebrity fight against hunger, having founded his End Hunger Network in 1983. He currently serves as spokesman for No Kid Hungry, a national campaign that aims to wipe out childhood hunger in the U.S. "As an actor, I put myself in other people's shoes," says Bridges. "I'm a representative for the human condition, for people who are working, busting their asses, yet who are hungry and unable keep a roof over their heads. It breaks my heart."
Miley Cyrus has been highly active with her Happy Hippie Foundation, which she founded in 2014 to address homelessness, with a focus on LGBTQ youth. The group, working with the Los Angeles-based My Friend's Place, has donated 40,000 meals, 20,000 snacks and 40,000 pairs of socks and underwear to homeless kids over the past several years. "It seemed wrong that I had so much attention and there were so many people in the country that didn't have a place to call home," says Cyrus (seen here with her dad, Billy Ray). "I wanted to bring attention to what is really important."
Homelessness has long been an issue close to Susan Sarandon's heart. She even testified before Congress ("We can't allow these people to be invisible any longer") and produced a series of films on the subject. Sarandon has also helped serve meals at the New York City Rescue Mission. "When you can recognize groups that are helping people through a bad time, to give a little, it helps you to feel like things aren't so out of control," she says. "It's really very self-serving."
As a resident of Los Angeles, Russell Brand reportedly spent more than $2,000 a month supplying food and clothing to the city's homeless. Before the recent wedding of Britain's Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the English actor and comedian, who now lives in London, started a petition calling for permanent housing for the homeless who were displaced during preparations for the royal event.
The Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Family Foundation partners with multiple organizations—including My Friends Place, Stand Up on Second and The United Way—to battle homelessness. "It's an issue that kind of gets pushed on the back burner because it's easy to point the blame at those who are homeless and say, 'Well, you made that bad decision, it's your fault'" says the former L.A. Lakers star. "But in life we all make mistakes and to stand back and allow someone to live that way and wash your hands of it ... that's not right."
Yoko Ono has worked to combat childhood poverty through her ongoing Imagine There's No Hunger campaign and her support of the Why Hunger organization. She recently authorized the use of John Lennon's iconic "Imagine" self-portrait on specialty license plates in California, Florida and other states, with proceeds going to local food banks. "I know what it means to be hungry," says Ono (seen here with Taiwanese rock band Mayda at an Imagine There's No Hunger event). "In the Second World War, I was a little girl.... We were very hungry. I just don't want the children to have that experience."
Founded in 2007, Kevin Bacon's sixdegrees.org connects philanthropists of all stripes with a large pool of grassroots organizations that have various social missions, including the fight against hunger and homelessness. "At the end of the day," says Bacon, "we're all just six degrees from someone who really needs our help. And when we work together, we really can do a great deal of good."
Kim and Khloe Kardashian
After Kim and Khloe paid a visit to Alexandria House, a transitional shelter for homeless women and children in Los Angeles, on a 2017 episode of "Keeping Up With the Kardashians," the organization reportedly received $1 million in donations. "There are so many circumstances that can lead to this situation for so many people," says Kim, who supports more than 20 different charities. "This could happen to anyone."
Since 2011, NASCAR driver Jeff Gordon has partnered with AARP's Drive to End Hunger campaign, which has donated more than 37 million meals to help feed hungry seniors nationwide. "Every single day, millions of older Americans are forced to make a choice between food, medicine and utilities," says Gordon. "It's got to be a team effort and it's not going to be easy. But we can solve this problem."
In 2011, Curtis James Jackson III—better known as 50 Cent—pledged that for every purchase of his Street King energy drink, he would give a meal to a child in need through the UN's World Food Programme, That led to the donation of more than 3.5 million meals. "I had it pretty rough, but not to the point where there wasn't something to eat," says the rapper/actor. "But now I'm seeing a lot of kids that have even tougher stories than what I experienced."
Ben Affleck and Ellen DeGeneres
Two-time Oscar winner Ben Affleck is a member of the "Entertainment Council" of Feeding America, a nationwide network of food banks that help more than 46 million people through soup kitchens, shelters and other community-based organizations. In 2016, he joined forces with Ellen DeGeneres to launch the Small Change Campaign, enabling people to support Feeding America by donating their spare change through Coinstar machines.
Jon Bon Jovi
In addition to giving financial support to the homeless, Jon Bon Jovi's JBJ Soul Foundation runs several community restaurants in New Jersey that serve in-need customers. The menu doesn't have prices; if you are unable to donate cash, you can volunteer instead. "We don't need a scientist to find a cure for hunger," says Bon Jovi. "All we need is opportunity, dollars and drive."
Oprah recently joined volunteers at Cincinnati's Freestore Foodbank to help pack 2,000 meals for needy schoolchildren. And with her O, That's Good! food line, she teamed up with Kroger supermarkets and donated 1 million meals to Feeding America. As the media mogul and talk show superstar sees it, "Every step to zero hunger in this country, this city, this world is a step in the right direction."
U2's frontman is the cofounder of ONE, a global campaign and advocacy organization committed to ending extreme poverty and hunger worldwide. "Can we face the problem of hunger in the world?" asks Bono (seen here in Capetown, South Africa). "Can we fix the problem of poverty in the world? I can speak with confidence when I say, yes, absolutely."
Hurricane Katrina, which destroyed much of New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward, inspired actor Brad Pitt to create Make It Right, a foundation dedicated to rebuilding homes in the area. More than a decade later, Make It Right has built more than 100 homes in New Orleans, and expanded to New Jersey, Kansas City and an Indian reservation in Montana. "It was obliterationville," says Pitt of the Katrina's aftermath. "These people's lives were shattered. And we were telling people to come home, and yet when they got back to New Orleans they were treated in a substandard way. I just thought it was atrocious."
Since 2009, Christina Aguilera has served as a volunteer spokesperson for World Hunger Relief, helping to raise millions for the UN's World Food Programme. She has also acted as an "Ambassador Against Hunger" on many relief trips overseas. "A child dies every six seconds from hunger, which is a huge statistic for me," Aguilera says. "After having my own child, I just had to do something about it and help change that situation."
Rapper/actor T.I. (Clifford Harris) recently donated a year's worth of lunch money to a Florida high school student who was reportedly denied a meal at her school because she was 15 cents short. "This is the kinda s--- that deters kids from coming to school," T.I. tweeted. "I'd like to take care of her school lunch for the year. I hate to hear this type of thing happening to our children."
Before his career took off, Zach Galifianakis became friendly with an elderly woman named Mimi Haist, who folded laundry at his local laundromat. He eventually lost touch with her, but then, in 2011, the "Hangover" star learned that Haist was homeless. Galifianakis quickly found her an apartment, covering her utilities and rent. He even attended several of his movie premieres with her as his date. Galifianakis speaks about his homeless friend in the 2015 documentary "Queen Mimi."
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