The East Texas Food Bank has received a generous donation from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott, Amazon’s first accountant and former wife of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.

After her divorce from Bezos last year, Scott received a 4% stake in Amazon as settlement.

This week, Scott published a list of charitable investments that she is making in nonprofits across the United States, Puerto Rico and Washington D.C. According to the article Scott released on publishing platform Medium, 384 organizations were selected, including the East Texas Food Bank.

“We are quickly convening our board of directors, leadership team and other stakeholders to ensure that the philanthropy entrusted to us will help more East Texans access more nutritious food and support services equitably and efficiently — now, during the crisis of COVID-19, and for the long term,” East Texas Food Bank CEO Dennis Cullinane said.

ETFB plans to share details about the gift and how it will be invested across ETFB’s 26 county service area in early 2021.

“This generous investment in the East Texas Food Bank is a vote of confidence in the work we are all doing together to end hunger in East Texas,” Cullinane said. “Every partner agency, volunteer, donor, staff member, board member and stakeholder should feel proud to receive this recognition and investment.”

Cullinane added that the donation will help advance ETFB’s plan to reach their goal of ending hunger in East Texas by enabling the organization to invest in initiatives and tactics that were difficult to invest due to lack of resources.

“The hunger crisis is bigger than what any one philanthropist can solve,” Cullinane added. “Ending hunger and its devastating effects in East Texas is within our reach when we all come together to fight hunger. With this investment and continued generosity of all East Texans, we can end hunger together.”

According to information put out by the food bank, East Texas is battling an unprecedented hunger crisis. Texas has the seventh highest food insecurity rate in the nation.

One in five East Texans, including one in three children, face hunger daily. In total, 256,410 East Texans experience hunger.

“The East Texas Food Bank values transparency and after a thorough review, analysis and strategic planning, we will share our plans for this investment and the impact it will have on the people we serve,” Cullinane said.


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Ben Fenton is a digital multimedia journalist that has worked at the Tyler Morning Telegraph since 2019. He is from Lindale, Texas and holds a Bachelors in Digital Media and a Masters in Communication.