Drew Barrymore Partners With McCormick to Donate $1M to No Kid Hungry

Drew Barrymore - American Express and WeWork Event - Getty-H 2019
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Barrymore says that during the virus crisis, "when there are so many issues to tackle, I keep going back to kids and food."

Drew Barrymore and McCormick are partnering to donate $1 million to No Kid Hungry in an effort to ensure children have reliable access to food amid the novel coronavirus pandemic. Alongside the sizable donation, the actress and philanthropist will host a virtual taco night called #TacosTogether on May 19 at 6:30 p.m. ET.

Speaking with The Hollywood Reporter ahead of her Instagram live event, Barrymore shared why raising awareness about food insecurity is so meaningful to her and how her charitable partnership with McCormick can offer some relief to those in need.

Reflecting on her becoming an Ambassador Against Hunger for the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) in 2007, a role in which she advocated for school feeding programs in some of the world's poorest countries, Barrymore said now as a mother living amid a pandemic, the issues of child hunger remain at the forefront for her.

"There are so many problems to address in the world that I think you have to pick something that really speaks to you," she continued. "I definitely think there is no way as an individual I can solve anything, let alone everything. When I get to partner with someone like McCormick who is doing a $1 million, I don't understand how I'm so lucky that I get to be a part of that partnership with them. We got to choose the charity together and we both were aligned in what we feel is first and foremost right now. Kids who are not in school is the exact same thing I was doing in Africa with the U.N. years ago. It's what rings true to me as a human being. When there are so many issues to tackle, I keep going back to kids and food."

During the pandemic, food insecurity has grown across the world as well as in the U.S. More than 20 percent, or 1 in 5, U.S. households reported food insecurity, according to recent analysis by The Brookings Institution. In 2018, 11 percent of U.S. households were considered food insecure, according to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The donation made with Barrymore to No Kid Hungry is part of McCormick & Company's continued efforts to give back to those affected by COVID-19, which totals $2.5 million in support for food banks, restaurants, hospitality workers, frontline health care workers and emergency responders.

"We remain committed to supporting communities impacted by this global pandemic and those on the front line," said Jill Pratt, chief marketing excellence officer for McCormick. "We are proud to team up with Drew Barrymore as part of our #TacosTogether campaign to bring attention to No Kid Hungry and support the incredible work they are doing to ensure kids can access food during this crisis."

Ahead of the #TacosTogether event, McCormick and Barrymore have asked fans to share their favorite taco styles and toppings to pair with McCormick taco seasonings. The crowd-sourced responses will help the actress prepare tacos in real time, while she connects with those who tune in to discuss the power of food and the communities it creates.

Barrymore said tonight's event combines two characteristics of the pandemic — the longing to connect any way one can and the charge to help those in need. "I think [food] really is a two-pronged subject in that it is a need and it is an absolute luxury," Barrymore said. "Food is also something that brings us together. Something that is a creative outlet, something that is giving from one person to another and something that's very celebratory."

Barrymore continued that she's eager to focus on both the charitable aspect, with the donation by her and McCormick, while also offering a communal experience with #TacosTogether.

Describing the pandemic as "the great equalizer," Barrymore shared that "even though we're more disconnected than ever, luckily thanks to technology and bravery and humanity, I believe we are connected in a very new and profound way."

To take part in #TacosTogether, check out Drew Barrymore's Instagram on Tuesday, May 19, at 6:30 PM ET.