COVID-19 has put a financial strain on countless Americans. Those in the hospitality industry are facing reduced hours, cut jobs, and dwindling access to basic benefits. Given that hospitality and wine industries are inextricably linked, we want to harness the power of our network to provide these people with immediate aid. Together, we can give a sense of security to an industry that has provided us nourishment, comfort, and community.
We invite you to join us in donating to the Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund, a non-profit directing money to those leading on-the-ground efforts in the restaurant community. Donations also bolster the RWCF’s impact investing budget which provides zero-interest loans to businesses to assist in re-opening once this crisis has passed, and will help to establish a relief fund for individual workers facing economic hardships or health crises as a direct result of COVID-19. 100% of proceeds go directly to the fund.
To get things started, O’Neill Vintners & Distillers has pledged $25,000 to RWCF COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund. We ask that you contribute what you can to these workers serving and sacrificing on our behalf – no amount is too small.
Thank you to all who donate and for helping one another in these difficult times. We are always stronger together.
Additional Information on the Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation:
Restaurant Workers Community Foundation was founded in 2018 to advocate for gender equality, racial justice, fair wages, and healthy work environments in the restaurant industry. In the wake of the coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic, RWCF’s full focus is on supporting workers, small business owners, and an industry in crisis. Restaurant workers make up 10 percent of America’s workforce, and they are among the country's most vulnerable populations. More than 2.45 million restaurant workers live in poverty, and only 14 percent receive employer-sponsored health benefits. As restaurants across the country cut hours, suspend business, and close for good, many restaurant workers will be faced with long-term loss of income. For months to come, they will need help accessing government benefits and mental health services, paying their rent, and feeding their families.
RWCF COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund FAQ:
Is the relief fund only for certain states? NO. We are not limiting our funding to any states or cities, although we do not have the capacity and legal apparatus to help restaurant workers and businesses outside of the United States.
How do I apply? INDIVIDUALS seeking RWCF’s direct assistance should go to the Southern Smoke Application Form to submit their information and needs. Please note that Southern Smoke will evaluate each case based on the state of an applicant's emergency, prioritizing issues like medical needs. You can also email for further info: email@example.com.
Will there be eligibility criteria? YES. Following the 9/11 tragedy, the IRS clarified in its publication “Disaster Relief: Providing Assistance Through Charitable Organizations” broadened the kinds of needs for which cash assistance may be given, “provided an objective evaluation has been made of the victim's ability to meet these needs.” U.S. tax law indicates that our public charity MUST have a legitimate system for verifying the financial “neediness” of applicants and that the funds are spent on immediate needs, which include medical emergencies, assistance with rent, and transportation. “Need can be addressed with cash assistance, or other need may be met through services such as counseling, training and job placement services, which are charitable without regard to financial need. The type of aid that is appropriate to relieve distress in a particular case depends on the nature of the individual’s need and resources.”