GNOF, Gayle Benson, McIlhenny Company Announce $194,000 in New Grants from the Louisiana Service & Hospitality Family Assistance Program

August 17, 2020

Greater New Orleans Foundation, Gayle Benson, McIlhenny Company Announce $194,000 in New Grants from the Louisiana Service & Hospitality Family Assistance Program. $1.4 Million Awarded to Date to Service and Hospitality Workers. Round V Application Close on August 28th at 5 pm.

NEW ORLEANS, LA – Today, the Greater New Orleans Foundation (GNOF) announced $194,000 in new grants from its Louisiana Service & Hospitality Family Assistance Program, an initiative to support low-income restaurant, hotel, bar, catering and event staffing company employees who have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and who are working hard to support their dependent children and elderly parents. Total grants from the program now total over $1.4 million.

The program, launched with leading contributions from New Orleans Saints and Pelicans Owner, Mrs. Gayle Benson’s Community Assistance Fund at GNOF and the McIlhenny Company, maker of Tabasco® brand pepper sauce, has also received generous contributions from the Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority, the Allstate Sugar Bowl, Dennis and Alisson Allen, and JP Morgan Chase. Other generous supporters include Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana, the Sherry and Alan Leventhal Family Foundation, the Eugenie and Joseph Jones Family Foundation, New Orleans Original Daiquiris, JP Morgan Chase, Metabolic Studio, Republic National Distributing Company, Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, The Robert Henry Boh and Katherine Sandoz Boh Foundation, Dr. and Mrs. Neil J. Maki, Harry and Mary Ann Barkerding, and Ellen and Mac Ball. Our newest donor is Crystal Hot Sauce/Baumer Foods, Inc.

“Given the announcement of substantial additional layoffs in our region’s hotels and restaurants in recent weeks, the aid this fund provides to families in Southeast Louisiana is even more critical,” said Andy Kopplin, President and CEO of the Greater New Orleans Foundation. “Thanks to the investment of so many additional supporters, we are thrilled to announce we have the resources to make available another round of family assistance grants.”

The 194 grants awarded in this new round from the Louisiana Service & Hospitality Family Assistance Program will help the families of unemployed bar, hotel, and restaurant workers. Of the recipients, 11 were employed at bars, 103 at hotels, 70 at area restaurants, 7 at catering companies, and 3 at event planning companies with an average annual income of $28,600 per year, raising between one and four children. This pandemic has adversely impacted working families in all southeast Louisiana communities. Round IV grant recipients are residents of Jefferson, Orleans, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, St. Tammany, and Terrebonne parishes.

“New Orleans’ Hospitality Industry is the life line of our city,” said Pepper Baumer, President of Baumer Foods, Inc. “These workers are the reason New Orleans has the  reputation it does across the globe. They are the ambassadors of our city, and why people want to come visit! Not only is it our duty to help support these individuals, it’s also the right thing to do. That’s what makes New Orleans, New Orleans! We are always willing to help one another.”

Thanks to the generosity of new donors, we will award a new round of grants. Applications will be accepted for the next round of Louisiana Service & Hospitality Family Assistance Program grants until Friday, August 28, 2020 at 5 pm. To apply, please visit All questions should be emailed to

To qualify, individuals applying must:

  • Have earned 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) or less prior to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Have worked more than 32 hours per week in restaurants, bars, hotels, caterers, and event staffing companies in the Greater New Orleans Foundation’s 13-parish region prior to March 9, 2020
  • Have submitted a complete application which included: electronic copy of driver’s license or government-issued ID; pay stubs for most recent 30 days; and confirmation of household income AND number of dependents

To support this program’s expansion, please donate to the Gayle Benson Community Assistance Fund at the Greater New Orleans Foundation by visiting