Celebrity restaurateur Guy Fieri, also known as ‘The Mayor of Flavortown’ was able to raise nearly $25 million for restaurant workers who have lost the opportunity to work due to the ongoing pandemic.
Fieri has been working with the National Restaurant Association (NRA) over the course of the Covid situation to raise cash for those in need through the ‘Restaurant Employee Relief Fund’.
“You know, so many people work in the restaurant industry in multiple jobs, second jobs, single moms, single parents, students, retirees. And the restaurant industry is massively important to our communities,” he said.
“And so, when I saw this coming, I said, ‘We got to do something to get some money to these folks,” Fieri told CBS.
The chef and TV star partnered with the National Restaurant Association to start the initiative last year. https://t.co/OmXDMsy0zJ
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The initiative is also backed by over 50 companies and has so far gotten 15,000 donations, which comes up to nearly $25 million.
Thanks to these efforts, workers in the restaurant field who have either lost their jobs or have seen their wages drop, are eligible to apply for grants from the fund. If approved, people can receive a one-time grant of $500.
In an interview with CBS, Fieri said people have thanked him for reaching out to help them. He has been going all over the US to meet with people in the business as he records episodes for his Food Network show Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives, or ‘Triple D’.
“As I was leaving the ‘Triple D’ location, getting in the car to go to the next ‘Triple D’ location, this young manager came out from the restaurant,’ he said.
“She came to me and said, ‘You know, I got the money’. I said, ‘Oh, that’s so awesome’. She said, ‘The money was great, but it was just awesome to know that people I don’t even know care about how I’m doing’. And I was like, ‘Man, that’s the whole reason we did this’,’ he added.
Guy Fieri took his fundraising tactics to Flavortown. The fund collected 15,000 individual donations and raised close to $25 million.
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Regarding what motivated him to start the fund earlier, he told TMZ:
“I started thinking about my brothers and sisters in the restaurant business, and a bunch of the restaurants that I was closing.
So we partnered up with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, because their folks didn’t know how to make foundations and get money out.
I started handing out personal video invitations to all the heavy hitter CEOs that are involved in the restaurant business, and said, ‘listen, Pepsi, Coke, Uber Eats, all of you, we need to raise some money.”
According to the NRA, 43,000 restaurant workers have been given a grant thus far.
Thank you, Mr. Fieri, for all that you’re doing!
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