The Eat Out Restaurant Relief Fund, in partnership with Community Chest, has just been launched and aims to support an industry in crisis as they provide hope and kindness to needy communities. All around the country, restaurant kitchens have opened to serve a different clientele; hungry South Africans in desperate need of help. The fund’s mission is to support restaurants who have re-opened their kitchens to create meals either for the needy in their communities, or to supply feeding schemes.

“This crisis is uniting us like never before, showing our resilience and our humanity,” says Aileen Lamb, Managing Director of New Media, which owns Eat Out. “The restaurant industry has been hit hard by the lockdown, yet we are seeing the most extraordinary compassion coming from people in the business who are using their time and resources to feed the most vulnerable. The President’s announcement last night made it clear that this journey will be a long and slow one. As the country slowly eases out of lockdown, the restaurant industry will continue to feel this crisis for many months to come. The Eat Out Restaurant Relief Fund aims to provide financial support to them to become operational, so they can keep providing food for the growing number of hungry families across South Africa.”

New Media will seed the fund with R500,000.00. Says Lamb: “We know this amount is a small start, but we’re confident that with the support of our loyal sponsors, advertisers, regular restaurant goers and the corporate community at large, we can quickly raise the level of funds to really make a difference.”

This is proving true with confirmed donations received late on 24 April from both Retail Capital and the Graham Beck and Steenberg Vineyards. Each has donated R100,000.00.

“We’ve walked a long journey with restaurants during the good times, and we will continue to walk that path during the crisis times”, says Karl Westvig CEO of Retail Capital.

Says Chris Du Toit, CEO of the Graham Beck and Steenberg Vineyards: “It is in times like this that willingness to help shines through the dark clouds of a crisis. We are in this together and we hope that everyone who can help, will help.”

Any restaurants who are helping to feed the hungry in this time of crisis can apply for grants to help them buy food to cook, as well as to pay staff and rent.

Tarryn Corlett, trustee and co-founder of the Franschhoek Hospitality Academy and former CEO of The Sunflower Fund, is the newly appointed head of the Eat Out Restaurant Relief Fund. “In partnership with Community Chest, we’ll ensure that applications and payments are processed as quickly as possible. Donors will receive Section 18A certificates, so every donation will be tax deductible. I’m so excited about the difference we can make to help feed hungry South Africans while also supporting our restaurant industry.”

The funding application process is quick and simple and can be found at help.eatout.co.za.

Says Lorenzo Davids, CEO of Community Chest: “Community Chest’s mission statement is to improve the lives of all South Africans by mobilising the caring power of communities, business and government to advance the common good. This collaboration is an inspiring response to our country’s food relief efforts and shows the restaurant industry’s spirit of care.  The Fund is a solution that the entire restaurant industry can mobilise around. Any restaurants who are freely giving time and resources to help feed those in distress can apply for funding.”

The following criteria will be used to evaluate applications:

  • They must be currently running or participating in a project to provide food for the needy.
  • They must have a permit to operate as an essential service.
  • They must specify the feeding scheme or project they are supporting.
  • They must have a means of distribution for the food.

“I am excited that we are able to offer support to the industry that has supported us as a brand for so long.  The Eat Out Restaurant Relief Fund will help put very dedicated people back to work and, we hope, ensure restaurants are able to get back onto their feet in the weeks and months to come. We want this fund to keep our beloved industry operating and provide much-needed financial assistance so they can reopen their doors as viable businesses when the time comes. We can help!” says Lamb.

Donations to the Eat Out Restaurant Relief Fund can be made at help.eatout.co.za and all donors will receive Section 18A tax certificates. Eat Out will not derive any commercial benefit from this initiative – all money donated will go directly to the qualifying restaurants.

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