Group launches relief fund for Oklahoma City restaurant employees

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – As thousands of restaurants across the state try to stay afloat, many restaurant employees are struggling to make ends meet.

The Oklahoma Restaurant Association and the Cresap Family Foundation have teamed up to launch the ‘OKC Restaurant Employee Relief Fund.’

Organizers say the fund will support workers in the Oklahoma City metro area food and beverage industry who are unable to work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Funds will be given in $500 grants to approve applicants for their most pressing needs.

The Cresap Family Foundation has pledged a $100,000 matching challenge to kickstart the relief fund.

“As the state’s largest private-sector employer, Oklahoma’s foodservice industry employs over 185,000 people or 11% of the total job base. Many restaurant workers who have lost work amid the coronavirus outbreak are now contending with a challenging economic reality. Just as it will take time for restaurants to recover, it will also take time and resources for employees to recover their lost wages. The OKC Restaurant Employee Relief fund will help bridge the gap for these workers during this difficult time,” said Chandy Rice, ORA, Director of Education.

Organizers say applicants must live in Oklahoma, Canadian, or Cleveland counties.

“For everyone who is missing their morning coffee, favorite meal or happy hour… I hope you will consider giving to this fund today. Restaurant and service industry workers have always had a special place in my heart. When I was the Anheuser Busch wholesaler, we worked hand-in-hand to give our customers the best entertainment experience.  As our Foundation was considering impactful ways to get much-needed funds into the hands of these professionals, we were especially excited about this relief fund because it will allow others to easily contribute and guarantee funds get into the hands of those who need immediate help,” said John Cresap, the President of the Cresap Family Foundation.

Applications will open Monday, April 27 at 8 a.m. and close Wednesday, April 29 at 5 p.m.

If you are an unemployed OKC metro restaurant worker apply here.

To donate to the OKC Employee Relief Fund click here.

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