Citywide Fish Fry Benefits Hospitality Workers
NEW ORLEANS—While the pandemic has forced many churches across the area to alter or cancel their Friday fish fry fundraisers, 39 local restaurants will keep the tradition alive with a new campaign. Fish Fry Fridays will serve as a fundraising event to benefit Hospitality Cares, a partnership between Louisiana Hospitality Foundation and United Way of Southeast Louisiana. Participating restaurants will donate $1 per fish fry meal sold each week.
“The pandemic has hit the hospitality sector the hardest,” said Michael Williamson, UWSELA president and CEO. “Our community always comes together to help those in need, and this campaign is no different. The restaurants themselves are stepping up to keep the industry alive while providing a safety net for its employees through Hospitality Cares.”
Hospitality Cares is a crisis grant program offering varying resources, including free civil legal aid, counseling and emergency financial assistance to individuals working in the hospitality industry – one of the region’s largest employment sectors. The emergency grants award up to $2,500 to eligible employees at hospitality businesses running active United Way workplace campaigns in Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa and Washington parishes. The funds provide temporary assistance during times of crisis to cover basic financial needs, including housing, medical and utility bills.
The Fish Fry Fridays campaign was initially launched during Lent 2020 to help hospitality workers laid off during the pandemic. It raised over $12,000 from restaurant sales and a sponsorship from Tabasco, which will sponsor the campaign again in 2021 and be joined by New Orleans Fish House who will offer discounts to participating restaurants for their seafood features.
“We are proud to participate in this campaign,” said Phil DeGruy, New Orleans Fish House sales manager. “It is not only bringing us closer together, but it allows us to keep traditions going and keep restaurants open.”
Participating restaurants and their Lenten specials: FishFryFridays.org.
Hospitality Cares program information: UnitedWaySELA.org/HospitalityCares.