A variety of local fundraising campaigns are working to support restaurant workers who lost income as a result of coronavirus-related shutdowns.
As the number of COVID-19 cases begin to rise, restaurants, and businesses statewide had no choice but to do the responsible thing and close their doors to the public in efforts to lower the curve and contain the spread of this historic disease.
While some restaurants in the city have decided to keep business going by operating as takeout/delivery joints, this shutdown has left many restaurant industry employees without work and income. Whether it’s your favorite bartender, server or cook, the workers of Richmond’s restaurant industry are now in desperate need of help. Their income solely relies on people going out and spending money. They do not have the option of working from home, but just like everyone else, they still have families to support, student loans to pay off, and bills to pay.
But in these times of uncertainty many locals have stepped up and created opportunities for the community to support the restaurant industry that has become such an integral part of the Richmond culture.
The Holli Fund is a nonprofit organization that offers financial assistance to Richmond food service industry workers going through economic crisis. Founded in honor of the late and beloved local food writer Hollister Lindley, this nonprofit offers grants of up to $750 to food service industry employees going through difficult times. They recently held a virtual happy hour in which they encouraged people to toast and text to help local restaurants. To help and donate to the fund, text the amount of money you would normally tip on a typical Friday afternoon happy hour to 804-518-8333.
“Keep Calm and Nom Nom” is another local campaign that was created to help the food service industry during this time. Co-founded by Justin Bajan of Familiar Creatures advertising agency, this website is designed to inform Richmonders of how they can still support their favorite restaurants and breweries. The website has tons of links and info on how locals can buy gift cards or gift certificates they can use when these restaurants and breweries reopen and any other dine out services they are doing during this pandemic.
Several other restaurant groups have started their own relief funds in order to support their hundreds of service industry employees. Check out this list to help out your favorite sandwich shop, taco shop, brunch spot or watering hole.
- Richmond Restaurant Workers Support Fund
- RVA Hospitality Employee Relief Fund
- R & L Hospitality Employee Relief Fund
- Richmond Restaurant Group (RRG) Employee Relief Fund
- EAT Associate Relief Fund
- Giavos Family Restaurants Employee Relief Fund
- Bandito’s Staff Fund
- Broadberry Staff Relief Fund
- The Camel Staff Relief Fund
- Lady N’awlins & F.W. Sullivan’s Employee Relief
- Sticky Rice Employee Relief Fund
- Helping Poor Boys Staff and Families!
- New York Deli Employee Relief Fund
- Sabai Staff Relief Fund
- Helen’s Staff Relief Fund
- Secret Sandwich Society Employee Fund