Edited 5/2020 to add our donation to the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation’s Restaurant Employee Relief Fund
For over 20 years, Tito’s Handmade Vodka has been making a product that brings people together both in celebration and times of reflection. As the individuals who make up this company, our hearts are breaking for our friends, our partners, and the communities affected and isolated by this pandemic. We owe everything to the folks in the service industry. Without them—their bars and restaurants, their neighborhood regulars and occasional customers, their stages hosting musicians, and spaces for gathering—we wouldn’t be able to help. But, thanks to all of their hard work, passion, and endless advocacy, we can.
Since we can’t exactly get together to fundraise or gather to volunteer within our communities, we’re hunkering down and doing what we can. We’ve started with a $2 million donation commitment to organizations providing assistance to those in the service industry affected by the current pandemic. We’ve donated $1.25 million between five organizations — CORE, USBG Foundation, Southern Smoke, World Central Kitchen, and the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation — and will fund an additional $750 thousand as we uncover further needs. While these organizations are national in reach, they help industry members at a local level across the country by providing financial assistance in the form of individual grants, supporting education for chefs who turn their restaurants into community kitchens, and helping provide affordable meals to industry members and others in need.
And this is only the beginning. In addition to these organizations, we’ll be supporting other local efforts mobilizing during this unprecedented time of uncertainty. Our “Love, Tito’s” program has continuously supported nonprofits across the country through event sponsorships, service projects, and grants and donations both at local and national levels. We will continue to support nonprofits, evolving our approach to meet unfolding needs safely and quickly.
These are uncharted times, but, for as long as we can, we’ll raise glasses from afar. We’ll have virtual happy hours, parties and concerts, and if it’s safe, we’ll nudge elbows and do the foot kick thing. For as long as we’re apart, we’re in this together.
Stay safe and healthy.
In addition to financial support, these national organizations also provide local resources and education on how to navigate during these unprecedented times. We encourage you to encourage your friends in the industry to go to these organizations for assistance.
Children of Restaurant Employees (CORE), is a national organization that provides financial relief when a food and beverage employee with children faces a health crisis, death or natural disaster. CORE's COVID-19 Relief Fund supports hospitality employees, with children, who have been medically diagnosed or under medical directive to quarantine. Employees with children can apply for assistance online.
USBG National Charity Foundation’s COVID-19 Relief Campaign bolsters the USBG Bartender Emergency Assistance Program which supports qualified bartenders, bar backs, and bar servers who need financial assistance as a result of a catastrophic event or an emergency hardship. Recipients are screened, vetted, and awarded assistance on an objective and non-discriminatory basis.
Southern Smoke Foundation’s Emergency Relief Fund provides nationwide financial assistance to food and beverage employees experiencing crisis from all touchpoints throughout the service industry “food chain” including farmers, beer and supply delivery drivers, small business owners, and suppliers.
World Central Kitchen
Through its #ChefsForAmerica relief efforts, World Central Kitchen is working to safely distribute fresh meals in communities that need support. World Central Kitchen is activating restaurants and kitchens across the country to get restaurant teams working again and nourishing food to those in need.
The National Restaurant Association Education Foundation provides training, education, financial resources, and career development to build pathways to meaningful jobs and careers in the restaurant industry. The Restaurant Employee Relief Fund was created to help restaurant workers experiencing financial hardship in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. Visit RERF.us to donate.