In the midst of lockdowns and restaurant closures around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Guy Fieri has stepped up to help provide aid to thousands of out-of-work restaurant staff, Variety reports.
In partnership with the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation, Fieri has helped to raise over $20 million, which will be distributed to restaurant workers experiencing hardship in grants of $500. In the last two months, over 40,000 of these grants have been awarded.
“I started thinking about my brothers and sisters in the restaurant business, and a bunch of restaurants that I was closing–we gotta do something,” Fieri said in an interview with TMZ.
The TV and one-time video game star has reached out to the CEOs of big companies like Pepsi, Coke, and Uber Eats to donate–a welcome change from donation drives that have put the onus on individuals to donate in a time when most people have been financially affected.
“I started sending personal video invitations to all the heavy-hitter CEOs that are involved in the restaurant business,” Fieri explained. “As long as the money comes in, we’re going to continue to give these grants.”
The official Mayor of Flavortown also encouraged people to keep ordering from their local “mom & pop” restaurants when takeaway and delivery is available, to help keep small businesses afloat.
Anyone needing to apply for a grant or in a position to make a donation of their own can do so here.
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