The Fund is Designed to Support Independent Restaurateurs and Their Employees
Today, the Wholesale Beer Distributors of Texas (WBDT) and its members donated $60,000 to the Texas Restaurant Association’s TX Restaurant Relief Fund, an initiative of the Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation (TRAEF) that was established in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to provide immediate financial support to Texas’ independent restauranteurs and their employees. The TX Restaurant Relief Fund initiative, launched on March 23, 2020, offers grants of up to $5,000 per independent restaurateur to be used to keep restaurant operations open and their employees working.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an unprecedented challenge for our industry,” said Dr. Emily Williams Knight, President and CEO of the Texas Restaurant Association and Education Foundation. “Restaurants are a critical part of the supply chain. When they experience a high rate of closures and consumer visits drop by 75% or more, everyone suffers. Restaurants are the heart of our communities, fighting for survival. We are incredibly grateful to the Wholesale Beer Distributors of Texas for coming to their aid when their members too are experiencing the full catastrophic impact of COVID-19. This donation demonstrates that by working together and across the entire supply chain, we can support Texas’ many unique independent restaurateurs and their employees at a time when they need it most”.
As a collective group, wholesale beer distributors in Texas have a storied history of charitable donations in times of need for all Texans. In 2017, in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, WBDT and its member companies and partners established the Independent Beer Distributors Relief Fund (IBDRF) to financially support individuals, groups, and communities that are impacted by natural disasters or tragic events. Since its inception, the fund has generated $267,000 in donations.
“As beer distributors from across the state, we have banded together to reach the areas that have been hardest hit. We have been able to make a difference together more than we would have on our own,” said Tom Spilman, WBDT President. “The WBDT and IBDRF have given out donations to Harvey-stricken areas all across Texas, the American Red Cross, the New Day Port A Fund, the Food Bank of Rio Grande Valley, and the National Compassion Fund, just to name a few,” said Spilman.
“With the current state of the industry we serve, everyone is hurting, especially our on-premise restaurant partners. This contribution to the TX Restaurant Relief Fund initiative is a commitment that we are all in this fight together, and if we continue to band together during tough times, we’ll come out an even stronger and more unified industry,” said WBDT Board Member Val LaMantia, L&F Distributing.
On April 3, 2020 at 12:30 p.m. Dr. Emily Williams Knight, President and CEO, and Joe Monastero, Chief Strategist & Operations Officer of the TRA and TRAEF, will virtually receive the check to the TX Restaurant Relief Fund from the leadership of the WBDT via this link.
About the Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation
Established in 1994 by the Texas Restaurant Association (TRA), the Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation (TRAEF) is a 501(c)3 not for profit organization focused on providing the necessary resources to help restaurateurs confront educational and labor challenges with the latest innovations in education, technology, and training. It is the workforce development arm of the TRA.
The Foundation’s mission is to provide educational opportunities to build and maintain a strong professional foodservice workforce in Texas. The organization’s flagship program is Texas ProStart, an industry-based, two-year high school culinary arts and restaurant management curriculum. Texas ProStart is currently in more than 150 Texas high schools, reaching more than 15,000 students annually. The Foundation has partnered with KidsFit to bring students real-world culinary experience and encourage restaurants to offer an expanded menu with options that are child-friendly yet healthy. In collaboration with Feeding Texas, the TRAEF is working to expand training preparation for a variety of populations to find a career in the restaurant industry.
About the Wholesale Beer Distributors of Texas
The Wholesale Beer Distributors of Texas is the trade association representing beer distributors statewide since 1939. WBDT advocates on behalf of the beer distributors at the Texas Legislature, Congress, and all regulatory agencies.