NEW ORLEANS, LA – Today, the Greater New Orleans Foundation (GNOF) announced $547,000 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 $1.2 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 new 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, Ellen and Mac Ball.
“As the pandemic continues, we know that families are still feeling intense financial strain,” said Andy Kopplin, President and CEO of the Greater New Orleans Foundation. “Our Disaster Response and Restoration Strategy includes a long-term commitment to ensure full recovery of all families in Southeast Louisiana, and generous donor support like we have received helps us keep that commitment.”
The 547 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, 32 were employed at bars, 264 at hotels, 224 at area restaurants, 14 at catering companies, and 13 at event planning companies with an average annual income of $26,707 per year, raising between one and four children. This pandemic has adversely impacted working families in all southeast Louisiana communities. Round III grant recipients are residents of Washington, Tangipahoa, St. Tammany, St. John, St. James, St. Charles, St. Bernard, Plaquemines, Orleans, Lafayette, and Jefferson parishes.
“This donation represents the Ernest N. Morial New Orleans Exhibition Hall Authority’s strong commitment to improving the lives and promoting the financial security of so many in the Greater New Orleans area who have been adversely impacted by COVID-19, and who are struggling to make ends meet in these very challenging and uncertain times,” said Michael J. Sawaya, President and General Manager of the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention, which is governed by the Authority.
Applications will be accepted for the next round of Louisiana Service & Hospitality Family Assistance Program grants until Wednesday, July 15, 2020 at 5 pm. To apply, please visit https://www.gnof.org/service-and-hospitality-employee-family-program/.
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 copy of 2018 or 2019 federal tax return form 1040
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.