Priscilla Chan and Mark Zuckerberg donated a total of $800,000 to their favorite restaurants to help them weather the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The eight restaurants, located in the Bay Area, were informed about receiving $100,000 each as early in late March, according to reports.
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“We believe that bringing together people with divergent worldviews and experiences isn’t just a good way to help solve our world’s biggest challenges — it might be the only way.” -Priscilla & Mark in our annual letter 💪🏿💪🏽💪🏻 2019 was a big year for our partners and teammates here at CZI. Congratulations to you all, and looking forward to big things in 2020! 💪🏿💪🏽💪🏻 #CriminalJustice, #AffordableHousing, #science, #education
Chan, a pediatrician, runs the day-to-day operations of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the philanthropic investment company she and her husband co-founded in late 2015.
The couple personally contacted the restaurants through email to inform them of the donations, which can be used at their discretion.
The restaurants include:
1. Dohatsuten (Palo Alto), a Japanese restaurant
2. Palo Alto Sol (Palo Alto), a Mexican restaurant
3. Fuki Sushi (Palo Alto), a Japanese restaurant that catered the couple’s backyard wedding in 2012 (along with Palo Alto Sol)
4. Chef Chu’s (Los Altos), a Cantonese restaurant
5. Vesta (Redwood City), a wood-fired pizza restaurant
6. Sushi Sam’s Edomata (San Mateo), a sushi restaurant
7. La Ciccia (Noe Valley, San Francisco) an Italian eatery
8. The Liberties Bar & Grill (Guerrero St., San Francisco), an Irish gastropub
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150 lunch boxes are ready! We deliver to the healthcare workers at three local hospitals. We’re closed today, but reopen tomorrow and Saturday. ・ ・ ・ ・ #sushisamsedomata #sushisanmateo #sushisams #bayareaeats #bayareasushi #bayareafoodie #bayareafood #bayareabuz #sanmateofood #sanmateoeats #bayareasushi #yelppeninsula #bestbayareafood #whatsopenbayarea ##sanmateodowntown #sushitime
“Mark and Priscilla provided eight restaurants in the Bay Area with $100,000 each to help keep them operating during the crisis and to produce large batch for orders for health care workers and first responders,” a spokesperson told Business Insider. “As the world faces the unprecedented health care and economic crisis due to COVID-19, Mark and Priscilla have made a number of targeted donations in areas where they could make a meaningful impact.”
Facebook also donated millions of dollars in response to COVID-19, the spokesperson added. These include $100 million for small businesses, $100 million for the news industry, $20 million for the World Health Organization and the CDC Foundation (which operates independently from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), and millions more in ad credit for health organizations and ministries of health.
Seiko Alba, who owns Dohatsuten, could not believe the donation when Zuckerberg informed her about it in late March. She is using the funds to keep her restaurant open for takeout.
“They made me cry,” Alba told Palo Alto Online about her staff, who were ready to lose their jobs. “Thanks to Mark and Priscilla, we can keep going.”
Dohatsuten and Sushi Sam’s Edomata have also donated food to local hospitals and shelters. Chef Chu’s has provided more than 1,000 meals to healthcare workers.
“We haven’t said ‘no’ to anyone who’s come to us [for meals],” General Manager Larry Chu told Palo Alto Online, acknowledging Chan and Zuckerberg’s donation. “To be able to do something to keep us working and feeling like we’re doing something good is very positive for the owners and everyone.”