Nearly $1 Million in Scholarships and Grants Awarded to Future Leaders of the Restaurant Industry

National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation celebrates class of 2020 NRAEF scholarship recipients

WASHINGTON, DC – October 14, 2020 – The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF) has awarded nearly $1,000,000 in scholarships and individual grants to over 300 students pursuing post-secondary education.

This year, nearly half of NRAEF scholarship recipients pursuing undergraduate degrees self-identify with a racial/ethnic minority, one out of three recipients are first-generation college students, and two-thirds self-identify as women. Ninety-five percent of 2020 scholarship recipients have already begun working in the restaurant industry.

“I cannot thank you enough for selecting me for this scholarship,” said Amanda Gray, sophomore at Johnson and Wales University. Gray is pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Baking and Pastry Arts and Foodservice Management, with dreams of becoming an executive pastry chef. “It is allowing me to pursue my dreams and prepare for my future, and I couldn’t be more grateful.”

“We continue to encourage young people passionate about careers in our industry to pursue their dreams,” said Rob Gifford, president of the NRAEF. “Even in the time of COVID19, the restaurant and foodservice industry is resilient, and we remain focused on supporting the next generation of leaders. Thank you to our scholarship donors who help us change lives by granting access to higher education.”

Approximately 700 people apply for NRAEF scholarships and grants each year. Over the past 32 years, the Foundation has awarded more than $23 million.

Visit to learn how to get involved with the NRAEF and its work to build pathways to meaningful jobs and careers in restaurants and foodservice.



About the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation: 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” 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; and, the 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


Hannah Oliver
National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation

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