Restaurant Organizations to Donate to This Holiday Season

Here are eight ways to help in the season of giving.

It’s the season of giving, and we don’t just mean presents for your loved ones. These past two years have been brutal for the people in the restaurant industry. An already volatile industry was turned on its head, from temporary shutdowns to permanent closures, impacting thousands of workers. It’s especially heartbreaking when you consider that the restaurant industry’s workforce is made up of vulnerable populations that often work without benefits or access to childcare.

So if you’re feeling generous, why not consider donating to an organization looking out for the people that help us ensure that we have a great time when we dine out (or pick up takeout)? Here are eight organizations that are looking out for food service workers.

As of February 2021, Jose Andres’s World Central Kitchen had served 35 million meals. Today, the organization’s Covid efforts are focused on its “Restaurants for the People” initiative. Restaurants for the People hopes to help restaurants by buying meals from them and shares those meals with unemployed people. Donate here (you can even dedicate your donation in honor or memory of someone).

Restaurant Workers Community Foundation (RWCF) is an advocacy origination that seeks to create a more equitable workforce in the restaurant industry. The organization also has a Covid-19 emergency relief fund which benefits individual restaurant workers as well as organizations helping restaurant workers and zero-interest loans for restaurants who need help getting back on their feet.

At the onset of the pandemic in March 2020, restaurant professionals in New York City joined together to form ROAR NY. Today, the organization is helping restaurant workers in New York with programs dedicated to mental health and wellness as well as financial literacy. You can support the organization’s advocacy efforts or its health and wellness fund by donating here.

Restaurants Care offers financial assistance to restaurant workers who need help with expenses after an unexpected crisis such as an injury, death, or illness. The organization was able to provide 1,160restaurant workers with grants through its Covid relief program. Though that program is no longer operating, Restaurants Care still provides grants for people in the industry. You can support those efforts by donating here.

CORE provides financial relief to restaurant workers with children, from rent, groceries, or utility bills. CORE has a goal of raising enough funds to help 40 more families this December—to help reach that goal and beyond, donate online.

Founded in Spokane, Washington, Big Table provides crisis relief as well as coaching and support for restaurant workers. For now, the organization provides help to restaurant workers in the cities of Spokane, San Diego, and Nashville. You can make a donation or you can give an “unexpected 20."

Founded after the stage-four cancer diagnosis of Ryan Hidinger, a beloved Atlanta chef who tragically passed away in 2014, Giving Kitchen provides financial relief to food service industry workers in crisis, they also have a stability network for food service workers who need to be connected to social services. Donate here.

Bar consultant group Va’La Hospitality organized No Us Without You as a way to lookout for undocumented hospitality workers during the pandemic. The goal was to feed 30 families a week, and they now provide food to over 1,600 families. Undocumented workers keep the back of the house running and shouldn’t be forgotten, No Us Without You ensures that they aren’t. Donate here.

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Lia Picard is an Atlanta-based journalist writing about food, travel, and a variety of other topics. Her work appears in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Wine Enthusiast, and CNN Travel. Follow her on Instagram.