LDS Church giving $5.5M in cash to relief agencies to help against coronavirus

(Photo courtesy of the Salvation Army) People in need receive food and supplies from the Salvation Army, one of five charities that will receive a total of $5.5 million in cash donations from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to aid people during the coronavirus pandemic, the church announced Thursday, April 30, 2020.

Five charities will receive a total of $5.5 million in cash donations from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as part of relief efforts in response to the coronavirus pandemic, church officials announced Thursday.

“We want to help and know that we can rely on these trusted partners, who are already doing so much good, to reach those who are in greatest need,” Presiding Bishop Gérald Caussé, the ecclesiastical authority over the faith’s vast charitable, real estate, investment and financial operations, said in a news release.

The five charities are:

• Convoy of Hope, based in Springfield, Ill., which distributes meals and relief supplies, mostly in the Midwest.

• Feeding America, based in Chicago, a nationwide network of food pantries, soup kitchens and shelters.

• Partnership With Native Americans, based in Addison, Texas, will distribute food, water and personal health products to reservations, mostly in the West. “Our motto,” said Joshua Arce, the organization’s president and CEO, “has always been ‘don’t leave Native Americans behind’ and that’s more critical now than ever.”

• The Salvation Army, based in Alexandria, Va., will provide food, personal protective equipment and hygiene items around the United States.

• United Way, also based in Alexandria, supports a variety of relief efforts around the nation.

“This generous gift came at a pivotal time,” Hal Donaldson, CEO of Convoy of Hope, said in the release. “Convoy of Hope is well on its way to reaching the goal of delivering 10 million meals to those hit hardest by the coronavirus.”

The Salt Lake City-headquartered faith also is aiding relief efforts through community projects. Church officials say 280 projects have been launched in 80 countries. Also, 15 truckloads of commodities from the church’s network of Bishops’ Storehouses are being delivered each week to food banks and other charities nationwide.

In Thursday’s announcement, the church does not mention how much, if any, of its vast “rainy day” funds — pegged earlier this year at $100 billion by The Washington Post and The Wall Street Journal — have been spent on these humanitarian efforts.