Saturday, March 21, 2020

Miami Restaurant Employee Relief Fund

Hello. We hope all of you are doing OK in these incredibly challenging and scary times.If you and your families are healthy and safe, you may be wondering how you can help others. Given what we do here at Cobaya, our thoughts and concerns go out to the many food and beverage industry workers who have been laid off as a result of the disruption and closures caused by COVID-19. As you probably already know, yesterday Florida's Governor has ordered all restaurants in the state to close their doors to the public; the CIty of Miami Beach and then Miami-Dade County had already done the same earlier in the week. As a result, restaurants have had to let go thousands of employees, most of whom live paycheck to paycheck.

At Cobaya, we've have been looking for ways that we - and you, our extended family of guinea pigs - can help. We've got some more ideas coming, but here's a start. Several restaurant industry folks have joined together to support a Miami Restaurant Employee Relief Fund GoFundMe campaign to provide grants to assist restaurant employees disrupted by the COVID-19 closures. We've been told that 100% of donations will go directly to affected employees and that funds will start to be distributed as soon as next week. The Fund is supported by Brad and Soroya Kilgore, Michelle Bernstein, Michael Schwartz, Zak Stern and others - and hopefully by you, too.

Here's what we are proposing to do: if you make a $250 contribution to the fund, we will make sure you have two GUARANTEED seats at our next Cobaya event (or another of your choosing), whenever we are all done sheltering in place and can resume dining together again. We'll do this for the first 25 people who make a $250 contribution and send us confirmation by email. That's roughly the cost of a couple seats at one of our events, or a really nice dinner for two. [FINE PRINT: you'll still need to purchase your seats to the event, but this will guarantee you a spot; given that we usually get about ten times as many requests as we're able to fulfill, and we know that's a source of much frustration for everyone, that's surely worth something?]

Even if you can't contribute $250, every contribution in any amount helps. The link is here:

We've got some other ideas in the works, too (if the words "Cobaya at Home" intrigue you, please let us know). Wishing all of you health and strength.

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