The James Beard Foundation Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund  

The James Beard Foundation’s mission is to celebrate, nurture, and honor chefs and other leaders making America's food culture more delicious, diverse, and sustainable for everyone. For more than 30 years, our 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization has highlighted the centrality of food culture in our daily lives.  

The James Beard Foundation recognizes the dire situation the food and beverage community is in due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The purpose of the James Beard Foundation Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund (the “Fund”) is to provide critical financial assistance to small, independent restaurants that, due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) national disaster, have an immediate need for funds to pay set operating expenses and keep from going out of business. Our goal is to do our part along with federal, state, and local governments to provide for workers, sustain local business, reduce the financial impact on communities, and otherwise mitigate the severe economic consequences of this global pandemic.
Restaurants, bars and other independent food and beverage operations are strong economic drivers. For example, the culinary industry generates  $1 trillion in revenue per year, or 4% of U.S. GDP. The food and beverage community also employs nearly 16% of the American workforce. These businesses support local economies and, according to some studies, restaurants pump as much as 60% of their money back into their local communities. They pay taxes, support municipal utilities and bring life into underserved neighborhoods. Simply put, these businesses are essential. They are woven into the social and cultural fabric of our country, and it is our hope that the Relief Fund will help bring them swift economic relief and assistance during this time.

The majority of the culinary community businesses we work with and support each year are small or medium size businesses with less than 100 employees who play an essential role in the communities they serve. To help bring swift economic relief to these essential businesses, the Foundation launched a fund that will be gathering support from corporate, foundation, and individual donors to provide micro-grants to independent food and beverage businesses in need.

We know that swift action is needed to ensure there is a vibrant culinary and beverage community still standing once we are on the other side of this pandemic.  We hope you’ll support—at any level you can—to help these important community institutions survive. 

The James Beard Foundation Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund is administered by NVF with technical assistance from the James Beard Foundation.

Click here to review the criteria and application process

We are working on application materials at this time and will send out information when it is ready. Click here for frequently asked questions about the fund.

If you are inquiring about the process for the JBF Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund, please add your information here.

For questions or to make a contribution by wire transfer or check, please contact

Founding Donors

Corporate Donors

Media Partners

Individual and Foundation Donors