The Made in New Orleans Foundation (MiNO), Bakers Against Racism, and Chef Cassidy Lewis are partnering to make $50 "mini-grants" available to hospitality workers, who have borne the pandemic's brunt. People who need immediate assistance purchasing groceries are eligible for assistance. Applicants must be at least 18 and must fill out an application at minifoundation.org.
MiNO is a nonprofit organization focused on ameliorating racial inequality in New Olreans's hospitality industry. They work toward their goals by providing people of color in the service industry with educational resources, scholarships, and mentoring. Bakers Against Racism is a grassroots funding initiative that combats racial inequality through bake-sale proceeds.
Chef Lewis, a previous participant in both MiNO and Bakers Against Racism, had the idea to bridge the two groups through this grant program. Lewis presented the idea to MiNO Executive Director Lauren Darnell as an effort to make an immediate impact on the people who have suffered due to the pandemic.
"Like many others, I was drawn to participate in Bakers Against Racism, an amazing platform given to bakers nationwide to create change," Lewis said. "I wanted to see this donation creating change, not just aiding privileged people of color."
The program doesn't stop at addressing food insecurity; it's also interested in supporting local industry. The initiative, called Bee's Grocery Fund—after Chef Cassidy's personal company—is asking grant recipients to spend at least 10 percent of their winnings at a local farmers market. Bee's Grocery Fund will be collecting applications on a rolling basis and notifying applicants on the 15th of each month for as long as funding allows.
If you would like to donate to the funding, please head to minofoundation.org or donate via Venmo at @madeinneworleans-foundation.