We hope that everyone is remaining safe and healthy during this time. We know each day is filled with uncertainty, so please know we are here for you. With many challenges and difficult situations, one thing we can find comfort in is how our culinary community – a group we consider family – comes together to support one another.
With the rapid spread of COVID-19 and the mandatory closures of restaurants across the country, many workers have been left with very little means to survive. Restaurants typically operate on thin margins with staff living from paycheck to paycheck. The financial implications for millions of Americans who work in the restaurant industry will continue to devastate in the weeks and months ahead as many are unable to support themselves or their families.
We are pleased to announce the Ment’or Giving Fund: our fundraising effort to support the culinary community and the individuals who are at the backbone of the restaurants we love. The Giving Fund is 100% dedicated to support struggling workers who are integral in preserving the culinary success of America. Proceeds will be allocated to either other charities that support the culinary workforce or directly to restaurant businesses, with the requirement that they distribute 100% of these funds directly to their displaced employees who demonstrate financial need.
Independent restaurants employ over 11 million people in the United States and millions more when considering the extensive food supply chain. Think of all the people involved in bringing you your favorite dish: the farmers who grow the herbs, raise the animals, and collect the eggs; the transporters who bring those special ingredients to the restaurants; the chefs who masterfully transform the ingredients into that perfect bite you crave; the servers who bring that dish and their smiles to your table.
The restaurant business runs on low margins and is highly dependent on current business. This pandemic has put restaurants and their employees in the most vulnerable position. With closed doors, restaurants have had no choice but to dismiss their employees. Restaurants have always served as a place of comfort, joy, special memories, and celebration. We have all had special moments when kind gestures, words or actions have played an integral part in making that experience memorable. Today, the individuals who worked to make these experiences something memorable are the ones facing their greatest challenge and find themselves in need of aid. Now we have an opportunity to provide a lending hand to the most vulnerable employees.
Together, we can extend to them that same kindness they have bestowed upon us time and time again. Please consider donating to support those whose livelihood is at great risk. These individuals are yearning to come back to continue to create more magical moments for us all. Let’s help the chefs, servers, bartenders, dishwashers, managers, service teams, office staff, farmers, fisherman, purveyors, drivers, vineyards— and make a difference in their lives today for our collective future.