Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives host Guy Fieri has raised more than $21.5 million in relief funds in a seven-week period, to aid struggling restaurant workers as their industry is ravaged by pandemic lockdowns banning diners from enjoying meals on premises.
The beloved Food Network host took it upon himself to plead with corporate sponsors, including Uber Eats and PepsiCo, to donate to his Restaurant Employee Relief Fund. Since its inception at the end of March, the fund has aided over 43,000 restaurant workers impacted by the pandemic, by providing $500 direct grants to unemployed restraint staff.
“@GuyFieri has raised more than $21.5 million in seven weeks to assist unemployed restaurant workers. Shame on every single one of our government ‘leaders’ who have failed them. God bless the ‘Fundraiser of Flavortown,'” tweeted Janice Dean, senior meteorologist of the Fox News Channel.
“I’ve traveled coast to coast visiting thousands of restaurants across the country on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, and after all the time on the road, it’s clear that restaurants are the heart and soul of their communities,” Fieri commented last week. “When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the impact on the restaurant industry was immediate.”
Gravity Payments CEO, who cut his salary and raised the company’s minimum wage to $70,000, both lauded Fieri for his philanthropic efforts and shamed the government for lack of funding in a tweet. “Guy Fieri has raised $21.5 million for unemployed restaurant workers, which means Guy Fieri has done more for unemployed restaurant workers than Congress has in the last 8 months.
Fieri is executive producing a new docuseries for The Food Network that explores the mounting challenges restaurateurs face trying to operate in the pandemic. Restaurant Hustle 2020 premieres on December 27th.