With bars, restaurants and cafes shuttering across the US as the coronavirus emergency gathers momentum, the industry is entering unchartered social and economic waters.
With no defined end date to re-open, the daunting economics and uncertainty are stacking up for chefs and restauranteurs operating across all states, as teams of staff are laid off and paying rent and bills is of paramount concern.
In a bid to offer financial relief to the industry's workers, several wider community-funded campaigns are supporting networks of workers while a number of restaurants have launched independent drives to help raise money from their own loyal customers.
Here's an (evolving) list of campaigns that you can donate to, to show your support to those hit hardest in an industry experiencing an unprecedented crisis.
The James Beard Foundation Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund
The US non profic organisation has launched a fund to provide emergency relief to independent food and beverage businesses in need, gathering support from corporate, foundation, and individual donors to provide micro-grants to independent food and beverage businesses that need it most.
Jose AndresWorld Central Kitchen has been involved from the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak, first helping feed those passengers quarantined on a cruise ship. The organization’s chefs need financial help to continue preparing meals for those in need during the crisis.
We spoke to WCK's CEO Nate Mook who said: "donations are one of the best ways to support our work because it goes directly to purchasing the food to feed people.”
Restaurant Workers Community Foundation - COVID-19 Crisis Relief Fund
The Restaurant Worker’s Community Foundation, which works across a number of labor issues, has formed a COVID-19 Crisis Relief Fund for restaurant workers. The organization will focus on supporting “an industry in crisis,” including both workers and small-business owners. The Fund will provide aid provide relief to individual workers affected by the coronavirus and to create zero-interest loans to businesses.
The nonprofit Restaurant Opportunities Centers (ROC) United has set a target of $500,000 for its emergency relief fund, which seeks to help documented and undocumented restaurant workers who lose their jobs during the pandemic.
A campaign to offer direct relief to hourly workers (including those who rely on tips) who have lost income or jobs. Tipping Point Community (San Francisco) and Robin Hood (NYC) will distribute the donations to organizations that provide direct cash assistance to workers who are most directly affected.
The Washington association has created a coronavirus worker relief fund to help businesses and individuals navigate the impact on the industry. They are offering worker relief support with Hook Hall Helps to support restaurant and foodservice industry workers who may need assistance with supplies, community support, family meal, and more.
Another local fund, supporting service workers in the local restaurant community in Charlottesville; "Your contribution will allow a restaurant employee to pay an important bill, pay their utility bill, afford a doctor's visit, buy a week's worth of groceries, buy formula for their baby, buy feminine hygiene products, cover the cost of a prescription, take an Uber to work, put gas in their car, and so much more!" They are just a few thousand dollars off their $20.000 target.
The Sacramento Restaurant Community and the Farm-to-Fork movement, Mayor Steinberg and Region Restaurants have established this GoFundMe to help support the survival and reopening of locally owned independent restaurants and bars. "Funds will be distributed to qualifying restaurants who apply."
Rethink, a New York City-based non-profit working to recover nutritious excess food to provide low or no-cost meals to New York City families in need is responding to the coronavirus crisis with a newly launched Rethink Restaurant Response Program offering operators and restaurant workers two creative and financially supportive options for help.
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