The National Restaurant Association has created the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund to help aid employees who are experiencing hardship during the COVID-19 outbreak. This fund will offer grants to restaurant industry employees who have experienced financial hardship from either loss of employment or a decrease in wages. The grants will be awarded to individuals on a first-come, first-served basis while funds are available. Restaurant employees can apply for the grants beginning on April 2, 2020.
Employees that are eligible to receive grants must meet the following criteria:
- Individuals must have worked on a part or full-time basis in the restaurant industry for at least 90 days in the past year; and
- Individuals must have had their primary source of income be from working in the restaurant industry for the last year; and
- Individuals must have experienced a decrease in wages or a job loss on or after March 10, 2020; and
- Individuals must live in the United States, an overseas U.S. military base, or a U.S. territory; and
- Individuals must be over the age of legal majority in their U.S. state or territory.
The $500 on-time grants are meant to help offset the financial burden that many restaurant employees are experiencing during the COVID-19 outbreak. Listed below are many of these expenses:
- Home rent or mortgage
- Car payments or other transportation costs
- Utility bills
- Student loan payments
- Child Care expenses
- Medical bills
The National Restaurant Association, in conjunction with Guy Fieri, kicked off this relief campaign on Friday, March 27, 2020. The campaign has already raised $5.5 million for restaurant employees and 100% of the funds will be used to help these employees. There are numerous other founding partners of this relief effort including, PepsiCo and Uber Eats to name just a few. It is estimated between 5 to 7 million restaurant workers may become unemployed as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. The restaurant industry, with over 1 million restaurants in the U.S., employs approximately 15 million people. Eligible workers can apply for aid by clicking here.
If you want to help make a difference in the lives of these workers? You can donate to the fund here.