Perhaps lost in the shuffle of Hurricane Sandy's aftermath is the effect all of those restaurant closures will have on the lowest-wage (and tipped) industry workers. These are the people who, as Anthony Bourdain put it earlier this week in Eatocracy are likely "already living paycheck to paycheck." That "unplanned cash flow interruption" is going to cause some major issues.
Enter Modest Needs, a non-profit that focuses on the working poor. It's set up a Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund designed to get aid to New York City service industry workers whose livelihoods have been severely affected by the storm. The fund will give grants to qualifying workers immediately, to help with rent or mortgage payments (up to $1,500) that they'd otherwise have trouble making because of the work they've missed.
The first $150,000 in private donations will be matched by the Herb Alpert (yes, that Herb Alpert) and Zegar Family Foundations, meaning donations will go even further. So in addition to eating out and tipping well, this is a solid (and obviously tax-deductible) option for legitimately helping the people who make restaurants run smoothly.
And given that many restaurant workers may not have access to computers, internet, or email, if you know any, maybe let them know about it. The program will go on until Modest Needs runs out of money.
· Hurricane Sandy Relief Program [Modest Needs]
· All Coverage of Hurricane Sandy [~ENY~]
Team Barraca cooking by candlelight after Hurricane Sandy. [Photo: Barraca]