Sharief Ishaq, WDSU News • April 17, 2020
From “Here’s how Gayle Benson, Greater New Orleans Foundation are helping service, hospitality industry”
NEW ORLEANS —
The Greater New Orleans Foundation (GNOF) announced $413,000 in grants from its Louisiana Service & Hospitality Family Assistance Program, an initiative to support low-income restaurant, hotel, and bar employees who have been adversely impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and who are working hard to support their dependent children and elderly parents.
The program, launched with resources from Mrs. Gayle Benson’s Community Assistance Fund at GNOF and the McIlhenny Company, maker of Tabasco® brand pepper sauce, has attracted over 100 gifts to date.
The 413 grants awarded in this initial round from the Louisiana Service & Hospitality Family Assistance Program impacted over 1,238 individuals from the families of unemployed bar, hotel and restaurant workers.
Of the recipients, 41 were employed at bars, 155 at hotels, and 217 at area restaurants with an average annual income of just $26,900 per year, raising between one and four children.
This pandemic has adversely impacted working families in all communities.
Round I grant recipients are residents of Orleans, Jefferson, Lafourche, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne, and Washington Parishes.
To qualify, individuals applying must:
- Have earned 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) prior to the COVID-19 pandemic
- Have worked more than 32 hours per week in restaurants, bars, or hotels 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 copy of 2018 or 2019 federal tax return form 1040
Review of applications for Round II Grants of the Louisiana Service & Hospitality Family Assistance Program is already underway and awards will be made by April 24, 2020.
To support this program’s expansion, please donate to the Gayle Benson Community Assistance Fund at the Greater New Orleans Foundation by visiting www.gnof.org/benson.