Food Pantry Nets More than $25,000 in Donations Following John Oliver’s Cake Bear Challenge

Never underestimate the power of a chocolate-covered John Oliver.

The back-and-forth between the Last Week Tonight host and Deising’s Bakery of Kingston, New York, has resulted in a surge of donations for local food pantry People’s Place.

On the June 9 episode of Last Week Tonight, Oliver challenged Deising’s Bakery to put his face on their signature cake bear desserts in exchange for several pieces of restaurant equipment. (The offer came after Oliver purchased used equipment that Deising’s had wanted from a now-shuttered Red Lobster, which frustrated the bakery’s owners.)

Hours after the episode aired, Deising’s announced that they would not only accept Oliver’s challenge, but donate all the proceeds from their bespectacled baked goods to People’s Place.

According to The Daily Freeman, those cake bear proceeds totaled around $16,000 as of Monday afternoon—but that only represents a portion of the total proceeds.

On this past Sunday’s episode of Last Week Tonight, Oliver celebrated Deising’s once more by commending their charitable response to his offer.

“We sent Deising’s new kitchen equipment up to them on Thursday,” Oliver reported. “On top of which, I’m happy to say, we will be making our own $10,000 donation to that local food bank.”

That puts People’s Place at more than $25,000 in donations thanks to the saga—not including any added exposure the organization may have received from viewers of Last Week Tonight who couldn’t purchase a cake bear, but might have been feeling generous.

LateNighter reached out to People’s Place for comment but had yet to hear back before our deadline; we will update this story with any further information.

1 Comment

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  1. Lola Kneip says:

    I absolutely love John Oliver.