With the spread of coronavirus, millions of Americans are out of work. And with many restaurants closed due to social distancing measures, the food industry is one of the hardest hit.
That’s why celebrity food personality Guy Fieri partnered with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation to raise money for the foundation’s Restaurant Employee Relief Fund. And in under two months, Fieri, known as “The Mayor of Flavortown,” has helped the fund raise more than $20 million, according to the foundation.
“During these challenging times, the NRAEF’s mission to support the industry’s workforce is more important than ever,” said Rob Gifford, NRAEF president, in a statement. “With Guy as our champion and the support of so many generous companies, we can help get our family of restaurant workers back on their feet.”
Workers in the restaurant industry who have lost their jobs or have experienced a drop in wages can apply for grants from the fund. Following a review process, The fund will provide a $500 one-time grant to applicants. More than 60,000 people have applied, and the fund has given out about 20,000 grants.
Because of the high demand, the fund is not taking any more applications.
Though it was not immediately clear if citizenship is required to be eligible for the grant, a social security number is not needed to apply.
Since the coronavirus pandemic started, millions are out of work. According to new unemployment numbers released this week, 20.5 million jobs were lost in April alone, the most sudden and largest decline since the government began tracking the data in 1939.
The unemployment rate in April jumped to 14.7%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics — more than triple that of March, when the rate was just 4.4%.