TORONTO — Canadian chefs Vikram Vij, Victor Barry and Dan Geltner have created the Canadian Hospitality Worker Relief Fund (CHWRF) to support restaurant and hospitality workers financially impacted by COVID-19.
The fund, which will start accepting applications on May 6, will provide one-time $500 grants to restaurant and hospitality workers, including cooks, servers, dishwashers, bartenders, delivery people and others who suddenly find themselves in distress and in urgent need of items such as groceries, medication and/or other health products.
“The hospitality community is my extended family,” says Barry, chef-owner of PianoPiano and Cafe CanCan in Toronto. “Since I was 11 years old, I’ve had the privilege of working side-by-side with the exceptional people who make, serve and deliver your food. And now, more than ever, these hardworking people need our help, which is why I’m proud to support the CHWRF initiative.”
The fund will be administered by the Design Exchange — a Canadian registered charity that also serves as an event venue in Toronto — and promoted across Canada with the help of community partners: Elevate, Staffy, La Tablée des Chefs and Spiffy. CHWRF founding partners, including Uber Eats and Garland – Welbilt Canada, have pledged more than $1 million to launch the fund.
“The restaurant industry has rallied around this health crisis to feed Canadians and help keep our country safe,” says Lola Kassim, general manager, Uber Eats Canada. “We welcome the opportunity to be a founding partner of the CHWRF and the contributions it will make to impacted workers, including delivery people.”
“The foodservice industry and its workers are facing unprecedented challenges and need support for the most basic needs. It’s at times like these that we believe it’s our obligation to give back to the industry that has done so much for Garland, the Welbilt brands and our employees for over 60 years,” adds Mary Chiarot, VP, general manager, Garland – Welbilt Canada. “We challenge all foodservice suppliers to join Garland in giving back.”
More information about the fund is available on its website.