National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation and Guy Fieri launch Restaurant Employee Relief Fund raising millions to send cash grants to restaurant workers facing economic hardship
The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) announced today the creation of a Restaurant Employee Relief Fund (RERF) to support U.S. restaurant workers financially impacted by the COVID-19 crisis, and that industry icon Guy Fieri will lead a nationwide fundraising drive for the Fund via a Restaurant Relief America campaign. Fieri is the renowned chef, restaurateur, author, and Emmy Award Winning television Host of the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.
The restaurant industry has been devastated by the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis, with workers across the nation losing their jobs and livelihood due to forced business closures. The Restaurant Employee Relief Fund has been created to help those struggling workers, with 100 percent of the monies raised going to impacted restaurant workers. Founding Partners of the Fund include PepsiCo, Uber Eats, Constellation Brands, Moët Hennessy USA, Ecolab, Cargill, Boston Beer Company, Shift4 Payments, P&G Professional, The Elliot Group, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, and the Light Foundation.
“Early estimates indicate that as many as five to seven million restaurant workers may lose their jobs due to the COVID-19 crisis, and many already have,” said Rob Gifford, President of the NRAEF. “In the face of this pandemic, we are asking the nation to join us in protecting vulnerable restaurant workers through your generous financial support. Please donate online immediately at RERF.US so we can help those in need.”
“My entire career has been in the restaurant business,” said Guy Fieri. “From bussing tables to flambe captain to dishwasher to chef… I’ve done it all. I’ve also spent the better part of the last 15 years traveling this great country meeting other folks who’ve dedicated their lives to this business and let me tell you something, they are the hardest working, most real deal workers you’ve ever met… the heartbeats of their communities. But they need our help and with Restaurant Relief America, we can serve up some support when these restaurant employees need it most… right now.”
“Foodservice workers are facing unprecedented financial challenges and need support for everyday needs such as housing, childcare, and groceries,” said Anne Fink, President of PepsiCo Global Foodservice. “We need to provide relief to our friends, neighbors and customers to weather this storm so the restaurant industry can return more resilient than ever.”
100 percent of all donations will go directly to restaurant workers in need. Starting April 2, 2020, impacted restaurant workers will be able to apply online for a one-time, $500 check to use towards housing, transportation, utilities, child-care, groceries, medical bills and/or student loans. These grants will be administered by the NRAEF and offered on a first-come, first-served basis.