These Celebrities Are Using Their Fame And Their Big Bucks To Fight Hunger And Poverty

Millions of people around the world don’t have the most basic needs: food and shelter. That’s why stars like Bono, Beyoncé, and Matt Damon are doing what they can to help solve hunger and homelessness. While you’d expect humanitarians like Oprah and Yoko Ono to be part of the fight, you may be surprised to hear that rapper 50 Cent and model Karlie Kloss are doing their part, too. Read on to see how these celebrities are using their wealth and fame to help elevate the lives of those who need it most.

Beyoncé Helps Feed America And Build Low-Income Housing

Beyonce Announces The Feeding America Show Your Helping Hand Campaign
Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage/Getty Images
Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage/Getty Images

Beyoncé is a proud advocate and partner of Feeding America, where she’s helped spread awareness and provide food to those suffering from hunger. The singer has an especially tender heart for her hometown of Houston, where she’s worked with the Houston Food Bank.

Perhaps Beyoncé’s greatest display of selflessness was being a frontrunner in establishing the Knowles-Temenos Place Apartments in Houston. After Hurricane Katrina, Beyoncé and her family and friends came together to create the low-income housing unit, which also provides meals, job training, and health screenings.

George Clooney Supports Hunger Relief

George Clooney Visits 'Social Bite'
Jeff Holmes/Getty Images
Jeff Holmes/Getty Images

Academy-Award winning actor George Clooney doesn’t just give money to help those in need; he also takes the time to get actively involved. For example, while in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 2015 he helped make sandwiches at Social Bite. The nonprofit enables customers to buy meals for homeless individuals.

In 2017, George teamed up with Hunger Relief Fund. The organization works to prevent a famine from sweeping through nations like Somalia, Nigeria, and Yemen. He’s also involved in more than 30 charities covering a variety of issues from poverty to AIDS research.

Russell Brand’s Royal Gift Was A Homeless Housing Petition

The Residents Of New Era Estate Protest Against Their Eviction
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images
Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Something you may not have known about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s wedding is that it threatened to displace the homeless. That’s because a Royal Borough council leader wanted police to clear the town of unhoused individuals in preparation for the big day.

Doing so would impact a charity close to Russell Brand’s heart, Slough Homeless Our Concern. He got 15,000 signatures on a petition for Slough Council to donate a building to the charity, something Russell called a wedding present to the royal couple. Russell also is reported to have spent $2,000 a month in food and clothing donations while living in LA.

Susan Sarandon Testified In Court On Behalf Of The Homeless

New York City Rescue Mission's Mothers Day Banquet
Anna Webber/WireImage/Getty Images
Anna Webber/WireImage/Getty Images

Having grown up around homelessness in New York City, actress Susan Sarandon has a special heart for those in need. She gives back to her community by volunteering at the Relief Mission in her hometown, serving meals to those who would otherwise go hungry.

Susan even testified before Congress in 2014 to support a bill that would make crimes against the homeless a federal interest. Susan has also worked with the National Coalition for the Homeless and Habitat for Humanity. Her son made a documentary to spread awareness and encourage empathy.

Zach Galifianakis Got His Homeless Friend An Apartment

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Rich Fury/Getty Images
Rich Fury/Getty Images

Actor Zach Galifianakis changed the life of one woman he met in Santa Monica. Mimi Haist had been living in a Santa Monica laundromat for 18 years when they met. Zach took such a liking to the kind-hearted woman that he decided to make a documentary about her life, Queen Mimi.

The touching story earned two Spirit Awards and an award for Best Documentary and Best Director. Zach also provided her with an apartment, covering both her rent and her utilities. The celebrity considers Mimi a dear friend and has even brought her to a few movie screenings.

Yoko Ono Uses Her First-Hand Experience To Fight Hunger

5th Annual Imagine There's No Hunger Campaign Launch
Laura Cavanaugh/FilmMagic/Getty Images
Laura Cavanaugh/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Yoko Ono has a special place in her heart for kids who are hungry because she was once one of them. She said in an interview, “I know what it means to be hungry. In the second World War, I was a little girl… We were very hungry. I just don’t want the children to have that experience.”

That’s why Yoko started the WhyHunger organization, which teamed up with the Hard Rock cafe to raise nearly $7 million under their “Imagine There’s No Hunger” campaign. The proceeds helped families in 31 countries not only eat, but also learn how to farm so they can continue providing for their children.

Kevin Bacon Turned His Six Degree Joke Into A Charity

Food Bank For New York City's
Desiree Navarro/WireImage/Getty Images
Desiree Navarro/WireImage/Getty Images

The six-degree theory surmises that everyone on the planet is connected through no more than six links. After Kevin Bacon mentioned in a 1994 interview that he’s worked with about everyone in Hollywood, an ongoing joke emerged that Kevin is only six degrees from all celebrities.

Kevin capitalized on the popularity by starting SixDegrees.org, a nonprofit that encourages others to find someone or something within their six degrees they can help. The actor has used his foundation to participate in numerous organizations, including the Food Bank for New York City.

Bon Jovi Is Feeding And Housing Those In Need

Bon Jovi's JBJ Soul Foundation Opens Affordable Housing In Newark
Mike Coppola/Getty Images
Mike Coppola/Getty Images

Musician Bon Jovi established his John Bon Jovi (JBJ) Soul Foundation in 2006 in an effort to tackle both hunger and homelessness. Since, the organization has established JBJ Soul Kitchens around New Jersey that provide meals on a donation basis.

Those who can’t afford to donate money can instead donate their time by becoming a volunteer. JBJ Soul Homes are low-income and special-needs housing units established first in New Jersey and, three years later, in Philadelphia. The JBJ Soul Foundation also partners with various hunger and homelessness organizations, including 180 Turning Lives Around and The B.E.A.T. Center.

Miley Cyrus’ Foundation Helps Homeless Kids Eat

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Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Miley Cyrus has been fighting against child hunger for years. She kicked off her philanthropic efforts on her 16th birthday, when she rented out Disneyland. She encouraged fans to buy tickets to the celebratory bash because all the proceeds went to Youth Service America.

Since then, Miley created the Happy Hippie Foundation, a nonprofit that aims to help vulnerable populations including unhoused youth. In collaboration with My Friend’s House, Happy Hippie Foundation has donated 40,000 meals and 20,000 snacks to homeless children.

Jeff Bridges Heads The End Hunger Network And No Kid Hungry

No Kid Hungry Benefit Dinner - Inside
Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Jeff Bridges has been supporting the fight against hunger for decades. He was one of the celebrities who founded the End Hunger Network back in 1983, a coalition of entertainers committed to doing all they can to motivate citizens to help end starvation.

He later became the spokesperson for No Kid Hungry, an organization that works toward ending child hunger in America. Jeff says that as an actor, he’s a “representative for the human condition.” Being able to put himself in other people’s shoes is why he says he’s able to feel for those working hard and barely getting by.

Oprah Winfrey Volunteers And Donates

The Robin Hood Foundation's 2016 Benefit
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

Oprah Winfrey is such a champion for humanitarian efforts that this list wouldn’t be complete without her. The talk show host teamed up with Kroger to donate 1 million meals to Feeding America. She’s also contributed to the World Food Programme, the world’s largest humanitarian organization focused on fighting hunger.

Oprah helped pack 2,000 meals for children at the Cincinnati Freestore Foodbank and supports Robin Hood, a charity that seeks to help the impoverished in New York City. The superstar also covers all of the administrative costs of Oprah’s Angel Network, enabling 100% of the $80,000,000 they’ve raised to go to charity.

Bono’s ONE Aims To End Poverty By 2030

GERMANY-SOCIAL-ONO
JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP via Getty Images
JOHN MACDOUGALL/AFP via Getty Images

In this image, U2 frontman Bono is posing with several ambassadors of ONE, a nonprofit he co-founded in 2004. The organization supports policies that enhance the lives of those living in extreme poverty around the world, with the goal of putting poverty to an end by 2030.

The nonpartisan group aims to educate and lobby governments on behalf of the impoverished. Rather than soliciting funds from the general public, they gain financial support from corporations, foundations, and philanthropists, including Bono himself.

Ben Affleck Made It Easy For Everyone To Help Feeding America

Ben Affleck Participates in the America's Second Harvest Goin' Home for Hunger Campaign - June 3, 2007
Marc Andrew Deley/FilmMagic/Getty Images
Marc Andrew Deley/FilmMagic/Getty Images

For years, Ben Affleck has been a member of the “Entertainment Council” of Feeding America. To make it easier for everyday people to get involved, he collaborated with Ellen DeGeneres to launch the Small Change Campaign. The stars encouraged others to donate their spare change to Feeding America through Coinstar machines.

In 2020, Ben also raised $2 million for Feeding America by hosting a celebrity poker game for charity. Being that Ben is a proud Boston native, it’s no surprise that he’s also volunteered at The Greater Boston Food Bank. The food pantry and soup kitchen that emphasizes high-quality food donations.

Matt Damon Is Helping Bring Clean Water To Africa

Matt Damon Visits A Well Outside Mekele, Ethiopia
Handout/Getty Images
Handout/Getty Images

The one thing more pressing than having enough to eat is having clean water to drink. That’s why actor Matt Damon decided to start the H2O Africa Foundation to provide safe water to the continent wherever needed. Two years later, he collaborated with sanitation expert Gary White to form Water.org.

The organization teams Matt’s charity and Gary’s Water Partners International to more effectively get clean water to countries around the world. Matt was also a part of his buddy Ben Affleck’s poker game for charity, and is a proud supporter of Bono’s ONE Campaign.

50 Cent Gave Millions To Kids Who Have It Tougher Than He Did

Feeding America Kicks Off Hunger Action Month At The Second Harvest Food Bank Of Middle Tennessee
Beth Gwinn/FilmMagic/Getty Images
Beth Gwinn/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Rapper 50 Cent didn’t grow up with the most charmed life, but he can admit that starving children have it worse than he did. In an interview, he said, “I had it pretty tough, but not to the point where there wasn’t something to eat.”

That’s why the rapper pledged to donate one meal to the UN World Food Programme for every purchase of his Street King energy drink. The result was 3.5 million donated meals. 50 Cent also collaborated with his fellow G-Unit group members to create the nonprofit G-Unity, which focuses on improving the quality of life for low-income individuals.

Jeff Gordon Helps Raise Awareness Of Starving Seniors

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series SYLVANIA 300
Sean Gardner/Getty Images
Sean Gardner/Getty Images

If you look closely, you’ll notice that Jeff Gordon’s racing uniform features the “Drive to End Hunger” emblem on his chest and both arms. There’s a reason the slogan is larger than any of his other sponsors. Since Jeff Gordon teamed up with the AARP organization, they’ve raised funds to provide 37 million meals to those in need.

The campaign is specifically aimed at feeding Americans aged 50 and older and to provide short and long-term solutions. Gordon said, “Every single day, millions of older Americans are forced to make a choice between food, medicine, and utilities. It’s got to be a team effort.”

Christina Aguilera Is A Spokesperson For World Hunger Relief

Christina Aguilera Films New PSA For Yum! Brands World Hunger Relief Effort Launching This Fall In KFC, Pizza Hut And Taco Bell
John Shearer/WireImage/Getty Images
John Shearer/WireImage/Getty Images

Christina Aguilera is a spokesperson for World Relief Hunger, a charity campaign by Yum! Brands that brings their restaurant chains into the fight against hunger. The promotion raises money through the eateries to donate to the United Nations World Food Programme, for which Christina is also an ambassador.

The singer said that after becoming a mother, she felt she had to do something to help end child starvation around the world. The campaign has raised more than $640 million to create 2.4 billion meals for those in need across 43 countries.

Maroon 5 Donates To Charities As A Group

Philly Fights Cancer: Round 4
Lisa Lake/Getty Images for Philly Fights Cancer
Lisa Lake/Getty Images for Philly Fights Cancer

Maroon 5 isn’t just great at making music together, but they also love to help the world as a team. The group has performed at various charity events and collectively supports dozens of charities.

Among the organizations they support are Feeding America and Yoko Ono’s WhyHunger. As we’ve mentioned, both of these organizations aim to put an end to hunger around the world through food banks and long term solution planning. The band members also support humanitarian efforts independently of one another.

Karlie Kloss Bakes Cookies To Raise Money For FEED

Target FEED Collaboration Launch
D Dipasupil/FilmMagic/Getty Images
D Dipasupil/FilmMagic/Getty Images

Supermodel Karlie Kloss may be a fitness role model, but that doesn’t mean she shuns baked goods. Ironically, the star loves to bake, which is why she started Karlie’s Kookies. The healthy cookies aren’t only made with allergy and diet-friendly ingredients, but they also help raise funds to end hunger.

For each Perfect 10 Kookie sold, FEED donates ten school lunches to children in need around the world. The charity typically sells bags and other accessories that translate to dozens of meals, but Karlie’s Kookies are a more affordable option for those eager to help.

Leighton Meester Faced Food Insecurity Growing Up

Celebrity Friends Volunteer At Feeding America's Summer Hunger Awareness Event At Para Los Ninos in Los Angeles
Araya Diaz/Getty Images
Araya Diaz/Getty Images

Gossip Girl actress Leighton Meester is one of the many celebrities who’s gotten involved with Feeding America, a network of food banks. Her reasons for partnering with the charity are personal.

“Hunger is an issue I am passionate about because, growing up, my family was affected by food insecurity,” she shared. Leighton has volunteered her time serving meals to local kids in need. She also supports Bono’s ONE campaign and other foundations working to eliminate poverty.