Are you able to give money to alleviate the suffering of people whose hours have been cut or whose workplaces have closed because of COVID-19? Please consider these charities.
We at OTYCD intend this as a landing page for charities that help Americans, and particularly American workers, affected by the pandemic. We might update the page in the future.
First, we should include a link here to our previous story about sleuthing out which local organization handles the grab-and-go lunch program at your public schools, and donating to that effort.
America’s Food Fund is the big-deal effort launched by chef José Andrés in concert with actor Leonardo DiCaprio, Laurene Powell Jobs (widow of Steve Jobs), Tim Cook of Apple, and several others. It will help “children who are out of school and rely on school lunch programs, low-income families, the elderly, and individuals facing job disruptions,” according to its GoFundMe, which, as of April 5, 2020, had raised $13.1 million of its $15 million goal.
Its first beneficiaries will be Feeding America and the Andrés-led endeavor World Central Kitchen (WCK). The GoFundMe page states that WCK “has begun meal distribution in New York, Newark, Miami, Los Angeles, Oakland, New Orleans, Little Rock, and Washington, D.C.; and is planning to expand its operations in the coming week. Currently, it is serving 100,000 fresh meals daily, and is ramping up. These funds will help World Central Kitchen continue to expand and feed more people. ”
Feeding America is the country’s largest hunger-relief organization, with a network of 200 food banks as well as 60,000 food pantries and meal programs. Before COVID-19 hit, it was serving about 40 million Americans per year. With the pandemic upending so many lives, it needs to gear up to feed millions more.
Yes, America’s Food Fund possesses mighty star-power and commands the media’s attention. But! It’s helmed by a guy who has a track record of feeding people in disaster zones and other tough situations. Everyone’s signing on for a reason. It’s perfectly OK for you to sign on, too.
Guy Fieri, a Food Network personality who takes way too much shit (he looks like a douche, but he ACTS like a mensch, and this is just one example of that) helped start a relief program specifically for laid-off restaurant workers. Run by the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation (NRAEF), the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund delivers one-off checks of $500 to qualified applicants.
As of April 3, 2020, it had raised $9 million and its website application form had been swamped. (The powers that be are upgrading their servers and should be back online by Monday, April 6.) Checks will be disbursed as long as funds continue to arrive. Applicants must have worked in a restaurant for at least 90 days and must have lost their jobs or wages by March 10, 2020, or later in the year.
See the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund website: https://rerf.us
Donate to the RERF: https://rerf.us/make-a-donation/
Apply for RERF funds: https://rerf.us/apply-for-aid/
Back on March 21, 2020, Vox published Here’s how you can help people who’ve lost jobs or housing in the wake of coronavirus.
It includes information on two other funds that support restaurants and also tipped workers; organizations that help feed people (including Feeding America, which is mentioned above); people burdened by medical debt; funds that help the homeless and help people pay bills that allow them to stay in their homes; a legal defense fund for Asians who have suffered racial attacks because of COVID-19; and assistance for local businesses.
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