Basketball Royalty Steph and Ayesha Curry Have Quietly Served Up 15 Million Meals to People in Need in the Pandemic

Stephen and Ayesha Curry may be elite members of the NBA’s glittering basketball royalty, but they’re also generous and committed supporters of folks in need.

Last summer, as the COVID-19 pandemic jolted the economy leaving many out of work, in conjunction with the Alameda County Community Food Bank and Oakland Unified School District, the couple launched the Eat. Learn. Play. foundation to help alleviate food insecurity for families struggling to put food on the table in their community.

“We know the world is changing before our eyes in terms of dealing with the spread of coronavirus and we just found out that the Oakland Unified School District is closing the doors for the foreseeable future, so we want to intercede on behalf of the kids that rely on the daily services and try to help any way we can,” Steph Curry explained in a video tweet.

Since then, the initiative has expanded exponentially. After joining forces with world-renowned Chef José Andrés, founder of the global non-profit disaster-relief organization World Central Kitchen, Steph and Ayesha’s foundation has gone from serving 4,000 to 300,000 meals a week. In total, more than 15 million meals—and counting—have found their way to those in need.

But more than just serving up meals, Eat. Learn. Play. is also giving the local economy a much-needed financial shot in the arm—about $20 million, according to the foundation’s fourth-quarter update—that has “led to the rehiring of more than 900 Oakland restaurant workers.”

“It’s like we’re feeding the restaurants to make sure they can feed the community,” World Central Kitchen’s restaurant operations lead Anna Shova told Sf-ist. “Restaurant culture has changed. Popular Michelin star restaurants have now asked ‘What else can I do for the community?’ Now, it’s less about being rewarded and more about being closer to the community. People are opening up their eyes.”

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“Everything happens for a reason,” Ayesha Curry told The SF Chronicle. “For us to start in July and then just a few months later have this crisis thrust at our community and be able to keep up with the demand has really been a blessing.”

“It’s all about impact,” Steph Curry added. “The things my wife and I try to do, separately and together, are to raise awareness, to find impactful partnerships, to be human and understand the urgency of the moment.”

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And that is truly beautiful.

Featured image: @StephenCurry/Twitter

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