Ohio Restaurant Association launches $30,000 fundraising effort for workers in need

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The Ohio Restaurant Association aims to raise $30,000 in donations over the course of 30 days to assist restaurant employees who are in need due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Ohio Restaurant Association Education Foundation launched the Ohio Restaurant Employee Relief Fund in April, and has dispersed grants to workers in need in the months that followed. The grants can be used for living expenses, medical bills and housing costs. Applications remain open at the relief fund’s website for workers in need.

Now, the organization hopes to raise more more for employees who are struggling in an industry where the outlook continues to worsen due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ORA said in a press release. Recent ORA data predicts that more than half of all Ohio restaurants may be forced to close if the situation doesn’t improve in the next nine months.

“With sales continuously down month-after-month across the industry in most sectors, employees need assistance now more than ever,” said John Barker, president and CEO of the ORA, in a press release. “We must all work together to support those who have served us for years and help make Ohio’s restaurant, foodservice and hospitality industry vibrant again.”

The fundraiser, which goes through mid-September, will offer several virtual events and specials for donors, including a cooking class and limited releases of “Perseverance” beers through local breweries, according to the press release. Donations are also accepted through the organization’s website.

You can find more information about the fundraising push at the relief fund’s website, ohiorestaurantsrelief.org.

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