Grandview Public Market and the Town of Palm Beach United Way are giving back to the community amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The two groups have teamed up to establish a non-profit fund to assist local hospitality workers who have been laid off during the crisis. The Community Relief Fund will distribute up to $1,000 in cash to eligible people in the form of short-term one-time grants.
“We asked the community how we could help and overwhelmingly the response was that people need help paying their bills,” said Chris Vila, owner and operator of Grandview Public Market said in a press release. “We worked as quickly as possible to come up with a solution. We’ve been amazed at how people have stepped up to help the market and this is our way of paying it forward. “
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We’ve been blown away by the support and patronage of our West Palm Beach community. Closing our doors temporarily was one of the hardest decisions we’ve had to make as a small business and employer. Over the past month as the COVID-19 crisis developed, we have watched countless people in our industry get laid off, furloughed or just struggle in general. We’ve also gained some valuable perspective about what’s important in life.. As we asked ourselves what we could do to HELP and support our brothers and sisters in the restaurant community, it became clear that the real and immediate need is to put money into the hands of people who are struggling. We created the community relief fund with partnership from the United Way as fiscal agent as a way to help – not just the 80+ employees of our business and our amazing vendors but to help ALL of the workers of the surrounding businesses as well. There are thousands of workers who are out of work and struggling to pay bills. We are using this platform to help as many of them as possible and bring attention to the developing and evolving need for real relief as the fallout from COVID-19 continues to shift.. We are starting with a generous seed grant from a local donor and will work hard to keep raising as much money as we can to keep the funds flowing. We’d love for you to consider a donation ( anything helps! ) and to help us get the word out so that as many people as possible can help build awareness. Please join us by sharing this link ( in bio) with anyone you know who might be able to help and with anyone you know who might need some help.. Stay safe and let’s all get through this together.
To be eligible for a grant, you must be a food service or restaurant employee in Palm Beach County and yo must have worked at least 90 days in the industry over the past year. The money can only be used for essential expenses such as rent or mortgage payments, car or transportation costs, utility bills or childcare. A comprehensive list of eligibility requirements can be found on the Community Relief Funds website.
The fund received an initial investment from an anonymous donor but is expecting to continue to raise a considerable amount of capital to distribute to as many people as possible.
“Five dollars, ten dollars, any amount helps,” said Vila. “If everyone who used to go to restaurants or bars a few times a week donated the money they would usually tip their server or bartender, we will be able to help keep the lights on for many of those same workers.” Vila continued, “If you can’t donate but own a restaurant or know someone in need, please let them know about what we’re doing. We want to help as many people as we can.
For more information on the Community Relief Fund, including how to apply to funds or to donate, please visit their website, communityrelief.fund.
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