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Photograph: © Madore, Daphné CaronMadre sur Masson

A $1 million fund has been created to support unemployed restaurant and hospitality workers

The $1 million Canadian Hospitality Worker Relief Fund was created for employees affected by COVID-19.

JP Karwacki
Written by
JP Karwacki

Beginning on May 6th, restaurant and hospitality workers who have been financially affected by the employment and health crises surrounding COVID-19 will be able to apply for a one-time financial grant—and it's not from the government.

The British Coulmbia-based chef Vikram Vij, Toronto-based chef Victor Barry and the Montreal-based chef Dan Geltner announced via an press release yesterday the creation of the Canadian Hospitality Worker Relief Fund (CHWRF), a $1 million fund for the support of restaurant and hospitality workers.

“The Canadian restaurant industry is suffering as many restaurant and hospitality workers find themselves without work and in need of financial assistance,” said Geltner in the release. “I am proud to join the CHWRF in supporting workers and their families here in Quebec and the rest of the country.”

Whether you're a cook, server, dishwasher, bartender, delivery driver or any other member of the restaurant and hospitality industry who is in urgent need of essential items like food, medicine, help with paying bills or other essential needs, you can apply for a one-time grant of $500. Payments will be awarded to those who meet the fund's eligibility criteria.

According to the CHWRF's website, you must be:

  • Living in Canada
  • Are over the age of 18
  • Have worked in the hospitality industry, including food delivery workers, for at least 90 days in the past year
  • Have their primary source of income in the restaurant or lodging industry
  • Have experienced a decrease in wages or loss of job on or after March 10, 2020
  • Have the ability to accept electronic transfer payments (ie. Interac e-transfers)

If you or someone you know meets this criteria and wants to fill out an application, they will be accepted in one week from today on the fund's website. To some, a one-time payment of $500 may not seem like much, but for others? An amount like could help keep the lights on, a roof over someone's head, or be enough food for months.

Funded by its founding partners of the delivery app company Uber Eats and the manufacturing companies Garland and Welbilt Canada whose specializations include kitchen equipment, the fund will be administered by the Canadian charity and Toronto event venue Design Exchange, which will be reviewing the applications which the fund will receive.

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