Applications Are Open for the Food and Beverage Relief Fund


“The James Beard Foundation Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund application is now open. The application period will run through 3 P.M. ET on April 3, 2020. Please review the criteria and frequently asked questions before submitting an application. All applications will be reviewed; however, due to the high level of applications we expect to receive, only accepted grantees will be contacted.

The Fund Purpose and Criteria for Eligibility
The purpose of the James Beard Foundation Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund (the “Fund”) is to provide critical financial assistance to small, independent restaurants that, due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) national disaster, have an immediate need for funds to pay set operating expenses and keep from going out of business. Our goal is to do our part along with federal, state, and local governments to provide for workers, sustain local business, reduce the financial impact on communities, and otherwise mitigate the severe economic consequences of this global pandemic.

To qualify for funding, a restaurant must be (i) independently owned with 100 or less full- or part-time employees as of February 15, 2020, or (ii) a restaurant group in which each member restaurant has 100 or less full- or part-time employees on that date.

In this first round of funding, the Fund will accept applications through April 3, 2020 at 3:00 P.M. ET. All donations are received by the Fund and cannot be earmarked for specific regions of the country, states, or cities. All donations will be divided evenly across the 12 regions defined for the James Beard Awards. Completed applications in each region will be reviewed on a first-come, first-serve basis. Each applicant (whether an independent restaurant or restaurant group) approved by the Fund shall receive a one-time payment of $15,000. We expect to begin distributing funds by April 1, 2020. We will continue to process applications received in a region until we run out of funds in that region. If additional funds are raised, we will allocate them across the 12 regions and will process previously received but unfunded applications first and then reopen the process for new applications.

The Fund retains the right to make final funding decisions, in its sole discretion, consistent with the applicable criteria, which the Fund may amend as needed to ensure smooth operations. In addition, the Fund, in making these charitable grants, wants to promote a safe, fair, and respectful workplace. Any restaurant that does not provide a workplace consistent with these values will be disqualified from receiving a distribution from the Fund. Any funds that have been allocated to a region but have not been granted as of April 15 will be reallocated in the Fund’s sole discretion to another region where the request for support has not been met.

Regions are defined as:

  1. New York State 
  2. Northeast (CT, MA, ME, NH, RI, VT) 
  3. Mid-Atlantic (DC, DE, MD, NJ, PA, VA) 
  4. Southeast (GA, KY, NC, SC, TN, WV)
  5. South (AL, AR, FL, LA, MS, PR)
  6. Great Lakes (IL, IN, MI, OH) 
  7. Midwest (IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD, WI)
  8. Mountain (CO, ID, MT, UT, WY)
  9. Southwest (AZ, NM, NV, OK)
  10. Northwest & Pacific (AK, HI, OR, WA) 
  11. California
  12. Texas

The James Beard Foundation Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund is administered by NVF with technical assistance from the James Beard Foundation.

Application Process
The application process consists of a short form that will gather necessary information for determining an applicant’s eligibility. Applicants should be prepared to provide all of the following:

  • Corporate/Individual Name of Owner and Address
  • Owner’s Tax Identification Number
  • Tradename of Restaurant or Restaurant Group and location(s)
  • Contact Name and Information (mailing address, email, telephone)
  • Electronic Funds Transfer (ACH) banking information
  • Upload at least one Proof of Ownership:
    • Business license, health certificate, liquor license, or other official government document showing the name of the qualified restaurant and the name of the restaurant owner. (Note: the name of the bank account holder to which funds are transferred must match either the restaurant’s or owner’s name shown on the proof provided.)
  • Website and social media information for the restaurant(s)
  • Number of full- or part-time employees at your restaurant as of February 15, 2020

Click here for frequently asked questions about the fund.

How to Support the Fund

During the open application window the James Beard Foundation is actively seeking new funding to provide as much support to the community as possible. Please share the relief efforts with your community because the more money we raise for the fund the more support we can provide to the culinary community. Social media graphics can be accessed here to help spread the word. If you have not already done so, please sign up for our updates here where you will receive additional information, resources, toolkits, and other forms of support.

Please find additional resources here and we wish you and your staff and community good health during this crisis.”

All of the best,
The James Beard Foundation

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