Guy Fieri helps launch a relief fund for restaurant industry workers that have been laid-off due to the coronavirus pandemic


Guy Fieri helped launch a relief fund for restaurant industry workers that have been laid-off due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to Since quarantine has been in effect, restaurants across the nation have been forced to close. “As of March 1, the industry has lost 3 million jobs and $25 billion in sales,” said Rob Gifford, President of the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF). Gifford estimates that during the pandemic, up to seven million restaurant employees could be out of work. This is the reason for the unprecedented relief fund started by NRAEF, the charity arm of the National Restaurant Association. The project, “Restaurant Relied America” was announced last week, but the online application for the individual grants of $500 opened on April 2. To be eligible to receive a grant, applicants must prove that they have worked in the restaurant industry for at least 9 days in the past year, that it’s been their primary source of income, and that they’ve lost their jobs on or after March 10. ~

Food Network star Guy Fieri became the face of the campaign. “Guy heard we were forming a relief fund and wanted to partner with us,” said Gifford. “He’s been a fantastic partner since he’s so passionate about the project.” The project has raised $9 million so far and all of it will be distributed to affected restaurant workers in one-time checks. The majority of the money is coming from corporate sponsors, although Gifford said they are receiving a lot of $5, $10, and $25 donations from individuals as well. ~

The amount of money raised continues to climb as Fieri does the media circuit. “My entire career has been in the restaurant business,” Fieri said in the Restaurant Relief America press release. “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.” ~

Leave a Reply