Executives at the Illinois Restaurant Association ( IRA ) announced the establishment of the Illinois Restaurant Association Educational Foundation ( IRAEF ) Restaurant Employee Relief Fund.
A statewide emergency assistance fund that will provide direct financial support to restaurant industry workers, the IRAEF Employee Relief Fund is possible because of founding donors at Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits, Telemundo, Associated Beer Distributors of Illinois ( ABDI ) and the workers'-compensation insurance company EMPLOYERS.
The IRAEF Restaurant Employee Relief Fund will provide one-time financial support to restaurant employees in Illinois facing unforeseen hardship due to COVID-19. Grants will help cover basic living expenses such as rent, food and utilities as someone works through crisis.
Grants will be evaluated in the following order of priority for restaurant workers who are:
Diagnosed with coronavirus ( COVID-19 ), or a caregiver for an immediate family member who has been diagnosed with COVID-19, or quarantined with a doctor's note; or
Out of work for three weeks or more with no unemployment benefits.
Applications for the IRAEF Employee Relief Fund will open in October.
Donations are accepted at secure.affinipay.com/pages/ira/iraef-relief-fund, and are tax deductible to the extent of the law. For more information, visit IllinoisRestaurants.org .