Guy Fieri is best known for his bleached blonde hair, flaming shirts, and his donkey sauce, but maybe he should be known for his philanthropy. The Mayor of Flavortown has raised $21.5 million for restaurant workers who lost their jobs due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" host stepped up for restaurant workers in a big way. Fieri partnered with the National Restaurant Association to raise funds for unemployed restaurant workers. Fieri and the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation established the Restaurant Employee Relief Fund "dedicated to supporting today's and tomorrow's restaurant and foodservice workforce."
Fieri was able to secure donations from more than 40 major brands such as Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Uber Eats, Live Nation, TikTok, Wingstop, Constellation Brands, Moët Hennessy, and the Food Network. Fieri personally sent videos to the CEOs of some of the companies to ask them to donate to his cause.
Fieri helped raise $21.5 million as of Thursday, and has awarded over 40,000 grants.
"I started thinking about my brothers and sisters in the restaurant business, and a bunch of restaurants that I was closing — we gotta do something," Fieri told TMZ. "As long as the money comes in, we're gonna continue to give these grants."
Guy Fieri's Raised Over $20 Mil for Out of Work Restaurant Staffers | TMZ www.youtube.com
Restaurant workers who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic can apply for a grant on the RERF website. At this time, "due to an overwhelming response of more than 60,000 applicants, the Fund is not currently accepting new applications."
The unemployment rate is 14.7%, the highest figure recorded since the Bureau of Labor Statistics started releasing the report in 1948. It is believed to be the highest figure since the Great Depression, when peak unemployment was estimated to be 24.9% in 1933.
In 2018, Fieri cooked meals for first responders battling the deadly wildfires raging across California.