WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 2, 2020 - The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) announced today overwhelming support for the Restaurant Relief America campaign from major companies and individuals across the country. With a new contribution from The Coca-Cola Company, in just 10 days more than $10 million has been raised for the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund (RERF) to support U.S. restaurant workers financially impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.
The Restaurant Relief America campaign was created by the NRAEF with support from industry icon Guy Fieri, 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 was launched to help those struggling workers, with 100 percent of the monies raised going directly to impacted restaurant workers.
"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. "Support for the fund has been tremendous and we are excited to have The Coca-Cola Company join our growing group of partners who are working tirelessly to help protect vulnerable restaurant workers with their financial support."
Impacted restaurant workers can 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. For more information on applying for financial aid visit RERF.US.
Major RERF supporters 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.
About the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF): As the philanthropic foundation of the National Restaurant Association, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation's mission of service to the public is dedicated to enhancing the industry's training and education, career development and community engagement efforts. The NRAEF and its programs work to Attract, Empower and Advance today's and tomorrow's restaurant and foodservice workforce. NRAEF programs include:
ProStart® – a high-school career and technical education program
Restaurant Ready – partnering with community-based organizations to provide opportunity youth and justice-involved individuals with skills training and job opportunities
Military – helping military servicemen and women transition their skills to restaurant and foodservice careers
Scholarships – financial assistance for students pursuing restaurant, foodservice and hospitality degrees
Hospitality Sector Registered Apprenticeship project – a partnership with the American Hotel & Lodging Association providing a hospitality apprenticeship program for the industry.
For more information on the NRAEF, visit ChooseRestaurants.org.