SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--A coalition of Greater Seattle restaurants, foundations, organizations and individuals announced today the creation of #ThePlateFund, an initiative to provide emergency financial assistance to restaurant and food-service workers who have lost jobs and income due to business disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund, created by the Schultz Family Foundation in partnership with #allinseattle, Seattle Foundation and UpTogether, launches with $4 million in seed funding and has a goal to reach as many in-need restaurant workers as possible in King County. Members of the community are encouraged to join the effort and help their neighbors in need by donating at www.theplatefund.com.
#ThePlateFund will provide immediate, one-time payments of $500 to restaurant workers hardest hit by the COVID-19 crisis, prioritizing the most vulnerable and in-need individuals in the restaurant community so they can quickly pay for essentials such as food, medicine, transportation, baby products and other expenses. Individuals may apply for assistance from #ThePlateFund via a mobile-enabled website, without having to leave their homes.
When COVID-19 hit the Seattle area, more than 100,000 people were employed at some 5,000 food establishments in King County. Most restaurants have been forced to close or reduce operations, laying off some or all of their employees.
A vast majority of line cooks, wait staff, dishwashers, bartenders and other restaurant and food-service industry employees rely on every paycheck, as well as tips, to support themselves and their families. Many have already depleted their savings and find themselves without money as they wait for federal stimulus payments and unemployment insurance benefits, which may not arrive for several weeks or months. The fund is also intended to assist restaurant workers who will not qualify for unemployment insurance or the federal stimulus payment because of immigration status or other issues.
While most restaurant owners are doing everything they can to help their people through the crisis, the situation is especially challenging for single-location establishments and smaller businesses.
Any restaurant or food-service worker that has experienced a reduction in hours or been laid off as a result of the COVID-19 crisis can apply for assistance from #ThePlateFund. To qualify, applicants are required to provide proof that they live in King County; confirm that they have experienced a reduction of hours or been laid off; and upload a recent pay stub via photo or other means, showing they have an annual gross pay of less than $62,000, inclusive of tips. #ThePlateFund will also provide electronic codes for restaurant owners to distribute directly to workers who are in the greatest need.
Workers who want to apply to receive payments can do so here.
Donors who want to contribute to the fund can do so here.
For more information about the fund, please visit www.theplatefund.com.
The need is enormous. While the fund will not be able to assist all workers who have been negatively affected by this crisis, it will continue to raise money to broaden its reach as the crisis continues. The fund is designed to provide emergency bridge payments to cash-strapped restaurant workers until they are able to receive unemployment insurance and/or federal stimulus payments, if they are eligible. The fund is also intended to serve as a complement to other community-led COVID-19 relief initiatives in King County.
“We can help bridge the gap between the time workers received their last paychecks and the time they access government-provided payments and benefits. For some, this may be the only assistance they receive,” said Sheri Schultz, President of the Schultz Family Foundation. “All of us have a responsibility to help those in need during this unprecedented crisis. With #ThePlateFund, we have an opportunity to serve those who contribute to the vibrancy of our community, and now need a lifeline. We are grateful that so many are coming forward to help.”
The application process and electronic payments for #ThePlateFund are being administered by UpTogether, a digital capital exchange platform created by the Family Independence Initiative and made available through the #GiveTogetherNow campaign.
In addition to the Schultz Family Foundation, partners and supporters of #ThePlateFund currently include these organizations and restaurant owners: Seattle Foundation; Charlie’s Produce; the Ellison Foundation; The Prado Group; Patty and Steve Fleischmann; Sid Lee (formerly Hornall Anderson); UpTogether; #allinseattle; Amperity; Seattle Restaurants United; Washington Hospitality Association; Seattle Restaurant Alliance; Starbucks Foundation; Aakanksha Sinha and Uttam Mukherjee (Spice Waala); Aaron Verzosa and Amber Manuguid (Archipelago); Alex Prindle (Bok a Bok, The Skillet Group); Alison Soike (Alison's Coastal Cafe and Bakery); Alyssa Anderson (Piroshki on 3rd); Alysson Wilson and Kevin Burzell (Kedai Makan); Anais Custer (La Dive); Art Stone (Honest Biscuits); Bianca Szyperski (Jujubeet); Blaine Wetzel (The Willows Inn); Brandon Barnato (Bar Cotto); Brandon Petit (Delancey, Dino's); Brendan McGill (Hitchcock Restaurant Group); Brian Canlis (Canlis); Brian Claudio Smith (Baker's); Brian Clevenger (Vendemmia, East Anchor Seafood, Raccolto, Le Messe, G.H. Pasta Co., Haymaker); B-side; Cameron Hanin (Guerrilla Pizza Kitchen); Carla Leonardi (Cafe Lago); Chera Amlag and Geo Quibuyen (Hood Famous Bakeshop, Hood Famous Cafe + Bar); Chris and Anu Elford (Rob Roy, Navy Strength No Anchor, Vinnie’s Raw Bar); Christopher Poetter (Katsu Burger); Christy Donnelly (RockCreek Seafood & Spirits, FlintCreek Cattle Co.); Cody Westerfield (De La Soil Catering and Events); Colleen Schroeder (BZs Sports Bar); Cynthia Burke (Cynthia's); Daisley Gordon (Cafe Campagne); Dan Bugge (Matt's in The Market, Radiator Whiskey, White Swan Public House); Dan Crookston (Mean Sandwich); Dan Olsby, Hannes Schindler, Matt Greenup and Rory McCormick (re:public, El Grito); Dani Cone (Fuel Coffee); Dave (Screwdriver Bar); David Butler (Le Caviste); David Nichols and Ian Nichols (Eight Row); Davide Macchi and Filippo Fiori (Dué Cucina Italiana); Debra Russell and Jill Buchanan (Eve); DeVeaux Hill, James Weinman and Deming Mclise (Beer Star USA); Doh Driver (Wayward Vegan Café); Donna Moodie (Marjorie’s); Doug Sowers and Joel Wood (Cafe Solstice); Dustin Ronspies (Art of the Table); Edouardo Jordan (JuneBaby, Salare, Lucinda); Efrem Fesaha (Boon Boona Coffee); Eric Fisher (Copal, Pacifica); Eric Johnson and Seth Hammond (Stateside, Foreign National); Erik Hakkinen (Roquette); Erika White (Fat's Chicken and Waffles); Ethan Stowell (Ethan Stowell Restaurants); Garrett Doherty (Lionhead); Gina Tolentino and Jerry Corso (Bar del Corso); Graham Graham (Mezcaleria Oaxaca); Guitar Srisuthiamorn (Sugar Hill, Ayutthaya Thai); Heather Chitty (Madres Kitchen); Heather Earnhardt (The Wandering Goose); Henri Schock and Soni Davè-Schock (Bottlehouse, Mr. West Cafe Bar); Heong Soon Park (Meet Korean BBQ, Chan Seattle, Bacco Café); Jaime Duggan (Gracia); James Lim (Watson's Counter); James Snyder (Sam's Tavern); James Weimann, Deming Maclise and Rich Fox (Bastille, Poquitos, Macleod’s, Rhein Haus, Stoneburner, Seaplane); Jan Parker (Jan Parker Cookery); Jay Blackinton (Hogstone); Jen and Max Petty (Eden Hill Restaurant, Eden Hill Provisions); Jenessa Sneva (Taurus Ox); Jeremy Hardy (Mioposto); Jerry Patty (Taylor Shellfish); Jiaxin Wang and Chong Boon Ooi (Ooink Ramen); Joanne Herron (Cafe Presse, Le Pichet); Joe & Ashley Russell (Russell's); Joey Burgess (Cupcake Royale); John Howie (Seastar, John Howie Steak); John Rogers (Bar Sue); John Sundstrom, Kelly Ronan and JM Enos (Chef Lark, Slab Sandwich, Southpaw Pizza); Jonah Bergman and Mike Leifur (Bait Shop); Jonathan Fleming (Pioneer Square D&E); Jonathan Silverberg (Schmaltzy's Deli, Napkin Friends); Jose Luis Rodriguez (The Station); Josh Grunig (Zylberschtein’s Delicatessen and Bakery); Joshua Delgado and Jordan Melnikoff (Le Coin); Julian and Lucas Lorenzo (Un Bien); Julian Hagood (Harry’s Fine Foods, Harry’s Beach House); Kari Brunson (Frankie & Jo's, Juicebox Café); Karuna Long (Oliver’s Twist); Keasa Jones (Uncle Eddie’s Public House); Kelley Kieser (Serafina, Cicchetti); Kevin Smith and Polly Yakovich (Beast & Cleaver); Kristi Brown (That Brown Girl Cooks); Larry Kurofsky (Heavy Restaurant Group); Lauren Garventa (The Ruby Brink Bar & Butcher); Linda Derschang (The Derschang Group); Linda Di Lello Morton & Tamara Murphy (Terra Plata); Lluvia Walker (Place Pigalle); MacKenzie DeVito (No Bones Beach Club); Marcus Lalario (Lil Woodys Burgers and Shakes, Fats Chicken and Waffles, Ciudad, Bar Ciudad); Maretta DeLaCruz (Wink Doughnuts); Mark Shroder (Opus Co); Matt and Emily Dann (The Corson Building); Matt Janke and Jill Buchanan (Lecosho); Matthew Powell (The Doctor's Office); Max Heigh (Poke To The Max, The Stone House Café); Megan James (Seattle Pops); Meghan Seale (Canon, Ocho); Melissa Miranda (Musang); Michael Maione and Jean Wallace (Some Random Bar); Michael Seale (Bar Harbor Bar); Mike Walker (Hi-Spot Café); Monica Dimas (Little Neon Taco, Westman's Bagel & Coffee); Mutsuko Soma (Kamonegi); Nancy Kelly (Good Bar); Nat Stratton (Clarke, Cafe Flora, Floret, The Flora Bakehouse); Newbies; Osiris Navarro (Golas Kitchen); Paul Osher (Pork Chop & Co); Pepa Brower and Dre Neeley (Gravy); Perfecte and Alia Rocher (Tarsan i Jane); Quentin Ertel (Havana, Havana Hospitality Group); Rachel Antalek (Byen Bakeri); Rachel Marshall (Rachel's Ginger Beer); Rachel Yang and Seif Cherchi (Relay Restaurant Group); Trey Lamont (Jerk Shack); Renee Erickson (Bateau, The Whale Wins, The Walrus and the Carpenter); Rod Gambassi & Marc Adams (R&M Dessert Bar); Rodney Hines (Metier Brewing Company); Rory McCormick and Rachel Dlugolecki (Single Shot); Rumi Ohnui and Charlie Anthe (Moshi Moshi Sushi, Izakaya); Ryan Donaldson (Gather Kitchen and Bar); Ryan Lengle (Slicebox Pizza); Ryan Suddendorf (Arriba Cantina); Sam Thompson (Seattle Biscuit Company); Sara Knowles (Restaurant Homer); Sarah Penn (Frank's Oyster House & Champagne Parlor); Seamus Platt (The Shambles); Sean McAteer Alexis Folse (Hillside Bar); Shawn Nickerson (Cafe Cesura); Shota Nakajima (Adana); Steve Nyman, Nathan Benedict and Greg Schaeffer (Union Bar); Stuart Lane and Angela Lopez (Spinasse, Artusi); Sun and Erin Hong (ByTae); Suzette Jarding (Ristorante Machiavelli); Tamara Murphy and Linda Di Lello Morton (Terra Plata); Taylor Hoang (Taylor Hoang Restaurants Inc., Seatac Airport Restaurants, Pho Cyclo Cafe, District One Saigon); Teferi Abay (Wonder Ehiopia Restaurant and Sport Bar); Theo Martin (Island Soul Rum Bar & Soul Shack); Tiana Garrett (Taproot Cafe & Bar); Tilikum Place Cafe; Todd Carden (Elliott Bay Brewing); Tom Douglas and Eric Tanaka (Tom Douglas Restaurants); Tony Lombardi (North Star Diner, Shanghai Room); Trevor Greenwood (Cantinetta); Vivienne Tran (The Moo Bar Seattle); Wassef Haroun (Mamnoon); William Belickis and Michael Hy (Violet); Wylie Bush (Joe Bar, Barjot); Yasuaki Saito (London Plane); Yenvy Pham (Pho Bac Sup Shop); Zachary Pacleb (Brothers & Co); and Zak and Renessa Melang (Matador Restaurants, Ballard Annex).