The 10th anniversary of the Minnie’s Food Pantry Feed Just One Gala was a rousing success, raising over $1.3 million on Tuesday thanks to Oprah Winfrey.
Winfrey was on hand at the star-studded event in Frisco, Texas, as keynote speaker and led the sold-out room to raise over $1 million.
Minnie’s Food Pantry is a nonprofit organization, helmed by Dr. Cheryl “Action” Jackson, which provides healthy food for those in need.
Winfrey walked the packed red carpet with Jackson, who’s been trying to get the media mogul to attend for years. Winfrey said she finally attended because of Jackson’s passion and persistence, according to NBC.
“True freedom is waking up in the morning and deciding what you want to do with your life. That is what I wish for each of you,” Winfrey said, recounting her grandmother’s influence on her life.
Thousands of dollars in donations poured in during Tuesday night’s gala. Mark Burnett and Roma Downey donated $100,000 and were the recipients of the Minnie Ewing Legacy Award for their work with the organization and for contributing at least 300,000 meals to the pantry.
Winfrey led off the donations by pledging $250,000 to the cause.
Minnie’s Food Pantry, named after Jackson’s mother, Minnie Hawthorne-Ewing, has provided more than 7 million meals to people in need to combat food insecurity.
Check out a highlight video of the event below.