Gayle Benson, GNOF, and McIlhenny Company award $160,000 in grants to help during COVID-19 pandemic

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NEW ORLEANS, LA – Today, the Greater New Orleans Foundation (GNOF) announced $160,000 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.

The program, launched with leading contributions from Mrs. Gayle Benson’s Community Assistance Fund at GNOF and the McIlhenny Company, maker of Tabasco® brand pepper sauce, has also received generous support from the Allstate Sugar Bowl, 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, and the Republic National Distributing Company.

“We are grateful to partner with our generous supporters to make these impactful grants to working families,” said Andy Kopplin, President and CEO of the Greater New Orleans Foundation. “This new round of grants is our latest in a series of awards we have made to provide immediate assistance to families and nonprofits on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The 160 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, 13 were employed at bars, 55 at hotels, and 92 at area restaurants with an average annual income of $26,242 per year, raising between one and four children. This pandemic has adversely impacted working families in all southeast Louisiana communities. Round II grant recipients are residents of Orleans, Jefferson, Lafourche, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Charles, St. John the Baptist, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, and Terrebonne. The program has now awarded $1,000 dollar grants to 573 families.

“I would like to lovingly thank all of the generous donors of this fund,” said Elizabeth Schaubhut of St. Bernard Parish. “This grant has helped to take a huge burden of anxiety and stress about paying bills that have continued to mount during the close of the economy off my mind. Your kindness is very appreciated.”

Applications will be accepted for the next round of Louisiana Service & Hospitality Family Assistance Program grants starting Friday, May 1, 2020 at 9:00 a.m.

Applications can be found here.
 
To qualify, individuals applying must:

  • Have earned 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI) 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.
 

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