OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – As the coronavirus pandemic caused thousands of restaurants to take extreme measures to stay afloat, many restaurant employees were struggling to make ends meet.
Even though most restaurants have reopened, many are still at reduced staffing levels.
In April, the Oklahoma Restaurant Association and the Cresap Family Foundation 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.
So far, the fund has raised over $500,000 to help workers.
“Our goal since day one of this crisis has been to help in any way possible,” said Chandy Rice, CAE, Director of Education for the Oklahoma Restaurant Association.
At this point, the organization has awarded 625 grants to laid off workers.
“Some have asked if we are going to stop now that restaurants are open. We won’t stop raising money until restaurants can return to their full capacity. Employees will feel the impact of diminished earnings for months to come,” said Rice. “We are exceedingly grateful to the many donors who did not hesitate to help. As individuals and businesses continue to give, it will enable us to award even more grants from our existing applicant pool.”
To donate to the OKC Employee Relief Fund click here.