Parks and Rec reunion episode rakes in nearly $3 million in aid relief

Before the pandemic, 1 in 7 Americans relied on food banks, according to Feeding America. Now, demand has doubled or even tripled at many organizations.

The NBC logo is seen outside the NBC News Today Show studios at Rockefeller Center in New York (photo credit: REUTERS)
The NBC logo is seen outside the NBC News Today Show studios at Rockefeller Center in New York
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Parks and Recreation reunion episode raised nearly $3 million, which they intend to donate towards Feeding America's coronavirus aid relief program.
The half-hour episode follows Leslie Knope played by Amy Poehler, as she catches up digitally with her former Parks and Rec colleagues - checking to see how each of them are holding up during the coronavirus lockdown.
“I never thought we would do this because of the particular brand of ending it had,” Adam Scott, who plays the role of Ben Wyatt, told Variety. “But when Mike [Schur, co-creator] sent the email, it just, at least in my mind, felt like, ‘Of course.’ This is essentially the only circumstance that would call for a ‘Parks’ reunion, I think: to help people out. It makes emotional sense, and creative sense as well.”
With regards to the aid relief, NBC, the cast and their sponsors decided to match any donation, up to $500,000, sent to Feeding America as a direct result of the reunion show
Food banks nationwide have been squeezed between short supplies and surging demand from needy families as the coronavirus pandemic has put more than 26 million Americans out of work.
Before the pandemic, 1 in 7 Americans relied on food banks, according to Feeding America. Now, demand has doubled or even tripled at many organizations.
Before the pandemic, Feeding America member organizations received about a third of their food from grocery store programs that “rescue” fresh food and dry goods that are imperfect or close to expiration. Almost a quarter came from government programs that provide meat, cheese and other products. The rest came through donations from farmers and grocers and purchases by the food banks.
Many farmers would rather donate food than destroy it, but overwhelmed charities do not have the labor or storage to handle such bulk donations. Neither can the government act fast enough to fill the gap left by disruptions of other sources and the sudden spike in hunger.

Reuters contributed to this report.



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