A $5 million donation from one of the co-founders of Snapchat will provide another 5,000 Angeleno Cards for people and families facing extreme financial hardship due to the coronavirus, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Thursday.
After the cash influx from Bobby Murphy and his wife, Kelsey Bateman, there’s enough money for 20,000 Angeleno Cards, benefitting 60,000 individuals, Garcetti said.
“For those in our city who already faced economic insecurity, this pandemic has been devastating,” he said during his daily virus briefing. “These cards are a critical lifeline, and all of it is through the generosity.”
The mayor says Santa Monica-based Snap Inc., CEO Evan Spiegel and his wife, Miranda Kerr, have also separately supported the nonprofit Mayor’s Fund, which is administering the program in partnership with Mastercard.
The initiative initially expected to distribute 10,000 cards. But it’s been expanding thanks to donations, including another $5 million gift last week from the nation of Qatar.
Garcetti didn’t say Thursday exactly how many Angeleno Cards have been handed out. But he said 15,000 people have benefitted since the program launched two weeks ago.
The no-fee debit cards are with $700, $1,100 or $1,500, depending on the size and income of each household. They’re being given to city of L.A. residents whose household income fell below the federal poverty line before the COVID-19 crisis began, and have had that income reduced by at least half since.
Due to the high demand, the program is currently not accepting new applications. Recipients are being chosen at random from the more than 500,000 applications received in the two-day signup window earlier this month.
The mayor announced another high-profile act of charity Thursday: Anthony Tiffith — founder of the Top Dawg Entertainment record label that gave rise to Kendrick Lamar — is covering a month’s rent for senior citizens in more than 300 units in Watts, across Nickerson Gardens, Jordan Downs and Imperial Courts.
“With May 1 coming up, this couldn’t come at a better time,” Garcetti said.