As Sarah Biles watched Taylor Swift perform in Kansas City, she wondered if the food bank where she works would hear from the global superstar.
A few days later, they did. After she performed two sold-out shows at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium in early July, Swift’s team reached out. The 12-time Grammy Award winner would be making a sizable donation.
“We were quite surprised,” said Biles, the director of communications at Harvesters.
While Harvesters has been asked not to reveal the total donation amount, Biles called it “generous,” adding that the donation has provided thousands of meals to people in need across the greater metro area.
News outlets have reported that as Swift made stops in 20 cities across the country, she was quietly writing checks to local food banks and hunger relief organizations connected to Feeding America, a national network of programs fighting food insecurity, of which Harvesters is a member.
Biles said the donation came at a particularly important time. Even though food assistance needs remain high more than three years after the COVID-19 outbreak began, many of the pandemic relief programs that provided significant federal funding for food insecurity have ended.
In the Kansas City region alone, one in 11 people are at risk of food insecurity, Biles said. Last year alone, Harvesters provided more than 61 million meals across 26 counties in the greater Kansas City metro area, according to the non-profit.
“In total, it’s a significant contribution to hunger relief and it’s so gratifying to see that she’s chosen a cause like this,” said Biles, who said in many ways, the fact that Swift choose to raise awareness around hunger is nearly as significant as the donation itself.
Even though Harvesters posted about the donation on Facebook in mid-July, the news flew mostly under the radar.
“It won’t be a #cruelsummer for thousands of families, children and seniors experiencing food insecurity thanks to a generous donation we received from the award-winning singer!” they wrote, attaching a photo of Swift.
And of course, there’s also a Travis Kelce connection.
In March 2020, the Chiefs tight end who is now rumored to be dating Swift, also donated to Harvesters.
He pledged to donate the cost of 12,000 meals, doubling a donation also made to Harvesters by Tyreek Hill, the Chiefs wide receiver at the time.
Swift attended a Chiefs game in Kansas City in late September after Kelce invited her to watch him play. Now Biles is making her play.
“You know, Harvesters is really close to Arrowhead. We’d be enchanted to have her come by for a visit if she ever wanted to learn more about what we do and the impact of her donation,” Biles said.
“Or, if she wanted to support the Chiefs Kingdom food drive which happens at the game on New Year’s Eve and supports Harvesters, we’d be forever and always grateful. NYE seems like a good game for her to attend, doesn’t it?”