Restaurants Care: Two Years and 383 Grants Later

Jun 24, 2019

Two years ago, we mailed our first check to a restaurant worker in need. A lot has happened since then! Restaurants Care has provided grants to 383 restaurant workers during their most trying times. 

Proud Moments 

  1. Setting up pop-up support centers in Santa Barbara and Sonoma Counties to help those affected by wild fires.

  2. Working with restaurants to host events for Restaurants Care – from a glamorous New Year’s Eve party to a pie eating contest!

  3. Partnering with several groups to start a conversation about mental health and wellness in restaurants. 

Who We Serve

Restaurants Care provides support to foodservice workers facing an unforeseen hardship. Over the last two years, we have helped cooks, servers, bartender, food truck workers, chefs, dishwashers, cashiers and more. Missing even one week of work due to illness or natural disaster can be devastating. Restaurants Care is a resource for our restaurant community to turn in times of need.  

Meet Barbara “Barbie” Server/Bartender Tony P’s: One morning Barbie woke up and was not able to move one side of her face. That frightening discovery gave way to yet another scary realization: she had Bell’s palsy. Our grant helped her pay her rent and buy groceries while she was out of work for more than 2 months recovering. 

Meet Christopher Cook/Habit Burger: Chris and his family were renting a mobile home to live in. The mobile home was terribly damaged and they could no longer live there. The family split up to live in different houses. Chris and his family used our grant to help secure a new place to live, and are all back under the same roof again!

Meet Felipe Server & Assistant Manager/Los Arroyos Restaurant: When the fires and mudslides shut down his place of employment on Main St. in Montecito, Felipe lost 8 weeks of work. He was the sole provider for a pregnant wife and four children and in need of immediate assistance. Felipe and his family used the grant for rent, utilities and expenses for the baby. 

Thank you for being on this journey with us. Together, we are caring for those at the heart of our restaurants. If your’re interested in getting involved, please contact Erin Mascho at

About the California Restaurant Association Foundation: CRAF has awarded more than $1.9 million in scholarships and grants since its inception in 1981. CRAF empowers the current and future restaurant workforce through ProStart and Restaurants Care emergency grants for workers in crisis.