The 100 Most Influential People of 2020
Sarah A. Miller—Tyler Morning Telegraph
By Rachael Ray
September 22, 2020 9:34 PM EDT

I remember the first time I got a bank card, the first time I was able to swipe a card for groceries instead of having to pay cash or check. I broke out in a nervous sweat because I didn’t know if I had enough money in my account to cover the items I had picked out, imagining the embarrassment if I had to choose what to keep or put back. I think of the Americans—as many as 54 million—dealing with food insecurity this year. These are our friends, colleagues, neighbors and children (the number of kids facing hunger could rise to 18 million this year) for whom Feeding America works tirelessly to provide food at food banks across the country, thanks to its leader Claire Babineaux-Fontenot.

Claire responded rapidly to meet increased need when hunger surged because of the corona­virus pandemic and economic downturn this spring. My cooking and kids’ initiatives, the Yum-o! Organization and the Rachael Ray Foundation, have been longtime partners of Feeding America, and we know firsthand all of the work they do on the front lines.

Without Claire, millions of people would lose access to food, and food-pantry lines would grow longer and longer. Claire feeds the world, and makes it a better place.

Ray is a chef and Emmy Award-winning television personality

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