People Inside A Restaurant - James Beard Foundation

Nonprofit Spotlight: The James Beard Foundation

The James Beard Foundation (JBF) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to celebrate, nurture, and honor chefs and other leaders making America’s food culture more delicious, diverse, and sustainable for everyone. For 30 years, JBF has hosted the prestigious James Beard Awards, provided $8 million in scholarships to aspiring culinary professionals, and produced many industry programs that educate and empower leaders in the food community.

The JBF Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund

In response to the COVID-19 economic crisis, JBF has established the Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund. The fund provides critical financial assistance to independent restaurants that need immediate funding in order to stay in business. JBF notes that the food and beverage industry generates  $1 trillion in revenue per year, or 4% of U.S. GDP. It employs nearly 16% of the American workforce. In other words, these businesses are essential to the American economy. S. Pellegrino sparkling water and Patrón Tequila are founding corporate donors.

Important notes on the Relief Fund

  • Where can I donate? Click HERE.

  • Can my restaurant apply for assistance? Due to an overwhelming response, the Fund has temporarily suspended applications from restaurants that need assistance. It hopes to begin processing applications again when additional money is raised.

  • What type of businesses receive grants from the Relief Fund?
    • Brick-and-mortar businesses with a restaurant license and whose primary business is food service have been prioritized.
    • The business must be:
      • (i) independently owned with 100 or fewer full- or part-time employees as of February 15, 2020, or
      • (ii) a restaurant group in which each member restaurant has 100 or fewer full- or part-time employees on that date.

  • How much money does each business receive? Each applicant approved by the Fund shall receive a one-time payment of $15,000. JBF expects to begin distributing funds the week of April 6, 2020. 

  • How does JBF decide which businesses receive grants? Funds will be distributed strictly on a first-come, first-serve basis across 12 regions in the United States.

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