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You know Guy Fieri because of his work on the Food Network, but the chef has done so much more for the service industry than spotlighting different restaurants on his shows. During the pandemic, Guy has partnered with the National Restaurant Association for the creation of the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund that has raised millions of dollars for those that have struggled.
The goal of the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund was to raise money for food service industry workers that were impacted by closures due to the pandemic. With partners like Guy Fieri and other businesses helping along the way, the fund has since raised $25 million. That money was given to 43,000 restaurant employees in the form of $500 grants. For many, these grants were a lifeline, Guy explained to CBS.
“You know, so many people work in the restaurant industry in multiple jobs, second jobs, single moms, single parents, students, retirees. And the restaurant industry is massively important to our communities,” he said: “And so, when I saw this coming, I said, ‘We got to do something to get some money to these folks.”
Recipients of the grants spanned all 50 states and Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Washington, D.C. It’s estimated like 60 percent of them were women and 50 percent were people of color.
Guy also told CBS that his work on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives has intersected with his work with the fund. “As I was leaving the ‘Triple D’ location, getting in the car to go to the next ‘Triple D’ location, this young manager came out from the restaurant. She came to me and said, ‘You know, I got the money.’ I said, ‘Oh, that’s so awesome.’ She said, ‘The money was great, but it was just awesome to know that people I don’t even know care about how I’m doing,'” he told the outlet. “And I was like, ‘Man, that’s the whole reason we did this.'”