Google partnering to give cash to 5,000 families; Pichai donates $1m

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Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, speaks during the company’s 2017 Cloud Next event in San Francisco.

Bloomberg | Getty Images

Google is raising cash for 5,000 San Francisco Bay Area families as the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic has led to an economic collapse in its backyard.

The company’s philanthropic arm, Google.org, and CEO Sundar Pichai are each giving $1 million to the organization GiveDirectly, which delivers cash to families enrolled in a federal nutrition assistance program SNAP, the company said Sunday

 The collaboration has a goal of raising $5 million so that each family receives $1,000. 

GiveDirectly will give money to families in Bay Area ZIP codes most affected by Covid-19, according to its website. As of Monday, it had raised $2.45 million. 

The company said it’s putting a call out to Bay Area Google employees and “others” to donate.

It’s a small percentage of funds and residents in the grand scope of the Bay Area, which has nearly 8 million residents in all. However, it does represent a more direct way of giving to local residents, many of whom await their government-issued $1,200 stimulus checks.

Last month, after cancelling two large events that normally would draw in tens of thousands of visitors and boost local businesses, the company said it would donate $1 million to local Mountain View organizations.

The fund also comes amidst the company’s rapid real estate expansion in the San Francisco Bay Area, which includes plans to build its second largest campus in San Jose to house 25,000 employees. In that process, constituents have feared its growth will further contribute to displacement in the region, which is among the country’s most expensive. Since then, the company has upped its contributions to the San Francisco Bay Area, including a $1 billion housing commitment. 

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