As we come to the end of 2020, it's fair to call this an extremely difficult year. In March, the Coronavirus began to spread across the United States like wildfire, and it hasn't let up much since.
Unemployment numbers have soared as businesses are forced to close their doors or simply lose customers in the wake of heightened caution, and while almost no business has gone unscathed, small businesses, bars and restaurant have been especially affected.
New York City was hit hardest by the virus and stayed shut down until around July, while other states were open and going about business as usual. Because of the extended shut down, we sadly said goodbye to more than a few of our favorite dining spots. Not everyone could handle the financial cost, and as we look at another spike this winter, we want to do all we can to keep those we stillenjoy safe and secure.
Many foundations across the United States are providing support for restaurants and their staff. Here, we've compiled a list of 14 which you can donate to now or turn to for relief.
James Beard Foundation
The James Beard Foundation has launched the Open for Good campaign to help restaurants survive the crisis, rebuild and thrive in the long run. They also launched another relief fund in September, the Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund for Black and Indigenous Americans. Their website allows visitors to donate, join the foundation and apply to become a sponsor.
Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation
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This nonprofit strives for advocacy and action, created by and for restaurant workers. They emphasize that quality-of-life issues disproportionately affect restaurant workers, 40 percent of whom live on poverty-level wages. On their website, you can donate to their COVID fund, apply for financial assistance and join their community.
National Restaurant Association
The National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant Employee Relief Fund is currently helping more than 43,000 restaurant workers who have suffered during this time. They’ve partnered with Guy Fieri, more than 50 companies and 15,000 individual donors to raise more than $21.5 million. Currently, they're giving out one-time $500 grants to restaurant workers in all 50 states and US territories.
United States Bartenders’ Guild
The United States Bartenders’ Guild lists each state and their resources to help service industry professionals during this time. The lists include information about each state’s Public Health Department and unemployment benefits, as well as food, rent, utility and medical assistance. It's a great resource for each and learning how to apply.
New York State Restaurant Association
The New York State Restaurant Association primarily helps New Yorkers, listing resources for restaurants reopening and human resources and employee support. Also available on their website are relief packages, webinars and information from the CDC and departments of health.
NYC Hospitality Alliance
NYC Hospital Alliance receives offers for employment opportunities for displaced service workers, as well as financial aid and grants for both operators and individuals from companies such as Facebook and the Food Education Fund. They also list food donation services and hotlines.
The Restaurants Act serves as “the grassroots home for the restaurant industry,” a resource center and one-stop hub for restaurants, employees, customers and industry partners. On their website, there is an extensive list of federal, state and local resources for hospitality workers heavily affected by COVID-19.
Rally for Restaurants
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Rally for Restaurants provides perhaps the easiest way to directly support your favorite restaurants all across the US. Simply search for a beloved restaurant on their website, then get the option to either order their food online or buy a gift card.
One Fair Wage Emergency Fund
One Fair Wage targets restaurant workers, gig workers and other hourly workers facing the unprecedented economic consequences that have come with this virus. On their website, you can donate, apply for help and even sign up to volunteer with them.
Spill the Dish
The mission of Spill the Dish is to give a voice to restaurant and other service workers. They crowd-source reviews of restaurants from the perspective of employees to help people find good places to work while putting community pressure on employers to treat their workers well. You’ll also find a resource page where you can separately search for ways to help or be helped as a worker, company and donor or diner.
Children of Restaurant Employees: COREGives
COREGives is giving back to food and beverage service employees that have children in troubled times. During this COID-19 pandemic, CORE is providing support to food and beverage service parents who have been medically diagnosed with COVID-19. Documentation is required.
Another Round Another Rally
This year alone, Another Round Another Rally has given out more than $1 million in COVID relief grants. They've also given groceries to more than 6,000 families in their community and are ready to give even more. Through their website, you can become a monthly donor, apply for aid, join their volunteer program, read about their programs and resources and more.
United States Bartenders’ Guild National Charity Foundation
The USBG National Charity foundation has raised more than $9.6 million in donations for their COVID-19 relief campaign, granting on average $300 to each of the 32,000 families who applied for aid. Read more about their impact and aid programs, then donate online.
Restaurant Strong Fund
Samuel Adams and the Greg Hill Foundation partnered to create the Restaurant Strong Fund in support of restaurant workers. Their newest campaign is the Winterization Grant, a project in partnership with GrubHub which will fund restaurants trying to maximize their outdoor seating. Donations are able to be made online.
Photography by: KENA BETANCUR