The World Food Championships' (WFC) audience is built on many small business owners, restaurant owners, chefs, cooks, and many more food-related services and personnel. Due to COVID-19, the industry has been severely affected and is suffering tremendously.
Since March 1, the industry has lost more than 3 million jobs and $25 billion in sales, and roughly 50% of restaurant operators anticipate having to lay off more people in April according to the National Restaurant Association.
In an effort to help our food friends, WFC has compiled a list of relief efforts that may be of use to you.
The National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation and Guy Feiri have partnered to help relieve restaurant workers in this time of crisis by granting $500 directly to the applicant after review and verification by the NRAEF. (Subject to the availability of funds contributed to the Fund. Awards will be limited to one grant per person. All grant approvals are at the discretion of the NRAEF.) To apply for the grant, visit https://rerf.us/apply-for-aid/.
The Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS) announced that its member companies are collectively donating more than $12.21 million to the U.S. Bartenders Guild Foundation and other charities.
“We are raising funds for our COVID-19 Relief Campaign in order to bolster our Bartender Emergency Assistance Program for the influx of applications we know is coming. We are here to help those in our industry most in need, and we ask you to help us serve those who serve us.
If you or someone you know is a part of the beverage industry and is in need of financial assistance, please apply for an aid grant at www.usbgfoundation.org/beap,”
According to its website, the James Beard Foundation has launched a relief fund to help bring swift economic relief to essential businesses that will be gathered support from corporate, foundation, and individual donors to provide micro-grants to independent food and beverage businesses in need. Any restaurant or food service owner interested in receiving this grant can apply by clicking here.
ServSafe, the National Restaurant Association certification process, is now offering online courses for until April 30th. Anyone in the industry that needs to renew their certification can do so for free. ServSafe is also offering free Food Handler certification as well as two COVID-19 precautions and take out protocols. To take the course, visit click here.
Additionally, the United States government has passed the CARES Act to assist the industries affected by this crisis. To review your options through government assistance as a small business, click here.
We hope these resources are helpful to our friends and families in the food service industry. As always, we will be looking at other developments and updating you as we know more. Additionally, our WFC staff is currently working on an online opportunity to help home cooks and chefs to obtain some revenue while also providing good information across our networks. Stay tuned as we finalize and announce this initiative in the next few weeks.