Relief Fund Created to Provide Immediate Funding for Restaurant Workers in Need

Rick McCartney

Since its inception, the Arizona Restaurant Association (ARA) has been dedicated to the support and advocacy of the Arizona food and beverage industry. In recent weeks, this has been exemplified in great strides with the immediate implementation of the Arizona Takeout Weeks promotion to help drive continued support and marketing efforts for restaurants who closed their dining rooms due to COVID-19 concerns.

The ARA is acting again through its 501c3 Education Foundation (ARAEF) to create Arizona Restaurant Strong, a relief fund that is already actively providing funding for restaurant workers that are now out of work — and without a paycheck.

Steve Chucri, ARA president and CEO said, “As an organization, we must be proactive to help the restaurant industry service staff that are in economic distress. I am incredibly grateful for the enormous generosity of our founding donors, Crescent Crown Distributing and Finley Distributing in getting this fund started.”

The AZ Restaurant Strong relief fund is designed to provide a maximum $500 individual grant (with specific criteria) to waitstaff, bartenders, line cooks, dishwashers and other hourly workers in the restaurant industry.

“Through this initiative we can help those who have suddenly found themselves without a paycheck breathe a little easier knowing that this immediate aid can help them buy groceries, pay their rent, fill their prescriptions and take care of their families,” said Chucri.

Industry service staff may visit for qualifications and to apply online.

Those that are able to help support the AZ Restaurant Strong Relief Fund can donate online via

Dedicated to helping its members become leaders in their communities through building customer loyalty, escalating awareness of food safety and healthy living, bolstering a thriving industry and rewarding workforce, and increasing financial success, the Arizona Restaurant Association is the brainchild behind events that support the state’s culinary scene including Arizona Restaurant Week and the Foodist Awards.

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