The restaurant industry is one of the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. With many restrictions put into place to protect public health over the course of this year, restaurants and their dedicated employees have been forced to make major adjustments. Sadly, despite even their best efforts, many businesses haven’t been able to weather the storm. As a result, countless hospitality workers have lost their jobs and their livelihood with no end or relief in sight. Guy Fieri—food industry icon and self-proclaimed mayor of Flavortown—has sought to bring attention to these issues and relief to those impacted.
In March, he partnered with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) to start the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund and has raised over $21.5 million to provide one-time $500 grants to restaurant workers who have been affected. Though the fund is now closed for new applications and donations, they have helped more than 43,000 people who are being financially impacted by the pandemic and are now making sure that they receive and access the grant funds. Many of the recipients have expressed heartfelt thanks and left testimonials about the relief efforts headed by Fieri and the NRAEF.
“Though I have never experienced a pandemic like this, I do know one thing: nothing can stop our industry,” expressed one beneficiary. “I am very humbled and gratified to have received aid from the NRAEF because it was a reminder that I was not alone. . . Thank you for being there for restaurant workers that still don’t have the slightest clue as to what will happen.”
Fieri’s relief efforts are a testament to his love of the industry and a shining example of the good that comes when we unite to support those around us who are struggling. If you would like to contribute in some way, find out more about how you can help NRAEF's website.