How to Help The Hospitality Industry During the COVID-19 Crisis

With the COVID-19 outbreak resulting in sweeping restaurant and bar closures across the United States, organization across the country are creating relief funds to provide assistance to hospitality workers in need. As these events continue to unfold, we will be updating this post with new resources and donation options. If you have information on a relief fund or resource you’d like to share with us, please send us an email.

The USBG National Charity Foundation has established an emergency relief fund to help bartenders who are facing unprecedented challenges. Applicants do not have to be a USBG member to apply for the grants, but they do need to be a bartender experiencing emergency hardship. The USBG is currently collecting donations on its website. To donate, click here, and if you are a bartender seeking assistance, click here.

The Restaurant Workers Community Foundation has created a Restaurant Workers’ COVID19 Crisis Relief Fund as well as a Resource Page to provide information on how to receive assistance or to find ways to assist others affected by this crisis.

CORE (Children of Restaurant Employees) is providing financial support to food and beverage service employees, with children, who have been diagnosed with COVID-19. If you are diagnosed with COVID-19, apply here. You may also be eligible if a family member is diagnosed. Click here to donate to this fund.

In Atlanta, Giving Kitchen, will provide emergency assistance to foodservice workers in Georgia who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and/or those who are under doctor’s orders for a mandatory quarantine. They’ve also created a Stability Network that provides other resources to foodservice workers regarding COVID-19.

In Washington, DC, Hook Hall has created Hook Hall Helps to support restaurant and foodservice workers who need assistance with supplies, community support, meals, and more. You can donate to their Coronavirus Worker Relief Fund through the the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington Educated Eats program.

In Texas, the Southern Smoke Foundation manages an Emergency Relief Fund for people in the food and beverage industry in crisis.

In Seattle, a Seattle Hospitality Emergency Fund has been created on GoFundMe to help workers whose hours have been curtailed because of this crisis and who are not being otherwise compensated. You can donate to the fund or apply for assistance by clicking here.

The One Fair Wage Campaign has launched an emergency fund for tipped workers and service workers affected by COVID-19. Click here to donate and here to apply for assistance.

The LEE Initiative, in partnership with Maker’s Mark, is teaming up with restaurants and chefs across the United States to provide food and supplies to restaurant workers who are in need. Their Restaurant Workers Relief Program is launching in Louisville, Kentucky; Cincinnati, Ohio.; Washington D.C.; and Los Angeles, and their goal is to expand across the country. If you are a restaurant worker in need of help in any of these locations, you can find more details about this program on The LEE Initiative’s Facebook page. To support these efforts, donate at LEEInitiative.org. All donations will go directly to restaurant workers relief efforts.

In Portland, Oregon, Family Meal is providing financial assistance to Oregon foodservice and agricultural workers experiencing a medical debt crisis as a result of COVID-19. If you have tested positive for the virus, or you are quarantined and unable to work, you can apply for a grant by clicking here.

Another Round Another Rally  is distributing $500 relief grants to hospitality workers in need. Anyone in the hospitality industry—dishwasher, bartender, server busser, chef, cook, sommelier, manager, host, or barback—can apply for funds. Click here to apply for funds and here to donate to their fund.

The National Restaurant Association Educational Fund as launched liftyourspirits.org to raise money for foodservice workers who have been impacted by COVID-19. Proceeds from this fundraising campaign will support the restaurant worker relief efforts at the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation. Click here for information on their grants.

The James Beard Foundation has launched a Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund that will be pooling support from corporate, foundation, and individual donors to provide grants to independent food and beverage businesses in need. They will be posting information on how to apply for assistance soon, but if you’d like to donate, click here.

The Independent Restaurant Coalition was created by chefs and organizations including Food Policy Action and the James Beard Foundation to the save restaurants affected by COVID-19 by working to affect legislative change. Click here to see how you can get involved and for more information on their work.

Sonoma Family Meal, a disaster-focused non-profit providing chef-made meals to those in need, has launched the Restaurant Disaster Relief Fund to help restaurants remain open for disaster-relief cooking by providing healthy, chef-made meals to those in desperate need of food. Click here to donate, here if you’re a restaurant that would like to participate and here for more general information on the initiative.

Thousands of GoFundMe campaigns have been created by bars and individuals across the country to support members of the hospitality community. Click here to search through the campaigns.

In Oregon, the Oregon Food Bank’s Food Finder allows people in need to locate nearby food assistance sites.

In New York City, City Harvest is providing food to individuals and families in need. Click here if you’re in need of food assistance and here to donate.

Shopify has put together a list of government relief programs for small businesses around the world.

Facebook has launched a $100 million grant program for small businesses affected by the COVID-19 crisis. Click here for more information.

Many workers may also qualify for unemployment benefits, so be sure to check with your area unemployment office. Here’s a link to state-by-state information.

Don’t forget to use your voice to demand government aid for the hospitality industry. Click here to find your local congressional representative and here to find your state senators and call them through the capital switchboard at 202-224-3121.