Our Response to COVID-19
The mission of the Emeril Lagasse Foundation is to inspire, mentor and enable youth to reach their full potential. During this extraordinary time, we feel this work is more important than ever. That is why we are dedicated to continuing to support youth in need. Here is an update of what we are doing to during this time and how you can help:
COVID-19 Relief Grants
Emeril Lagasse Foundation is awarding $500,000 in grants to provide vital support to nonprofit organizations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. In a multi-tiered relief response, the Foundation will grant immediate funding as well as long-term support to youth programs and families of hospitality industry workers in Louisiana, Nevada, and Florida. To learn more, click here.
The first round in relief grants prioritizes response efforts that support youth programs and meal donations. Recipients include:
- Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans received funding in the immediate aftermath of the pandemic. Our grant will also help feed 200,000 meals to children in need at NORD summer feeding sites.
- Covenant House which provides daily meals for over 200 homeless youth in New Orleans.
- Three Square Food Bank for the Coronavirus Food Fund. Our donation will provide 30,000 meals for hungry families, seniors and children in Emergency need.
- Weekly meal delivery in partnership with Emeril’s restaurants:
- Homeless youth at Covenant House
- Liberty’s Kitchen alumni and family
- Emeril’s restaurant team and family
- Café Reconcile, Café Hope and Liberty’s Kitchen. The grants will ensure continuity of services for opportunity youth in New Orleans who have lost their jobs because of the coronavirus pandemic.
- YEP (Youth Empowerment Project) virtual summer enrichment programming and at home activity kits for kids.
Continuing assistance for New Orleans hospitality industry :
The Foundation’s board of directors has allocated an additional $125,000 in grant funds to support the needs of local hospitality industry workers. This second round of funding will be disbursed in the fall. We invite others to join in our commitment to this essential industry.
Supporting our Beneficiaries
The Emeril Lagasse Foundation is committed to supporting our beneficiary partners during these uncertain times, and are working closely with them to understand their needs. We understand project timelines for grant activities and reporting will likely be impacted by COVID-19, and we are prepared to work with each of our beneficiaries to provide flexibilities and support where we can, when we can.
We have taken appropriate actions to assure that we have adequate resources available to continue our foundation’s operations, and fulfill our grant commitments.
In April, we had to make the difficult decision to cancel the Chi Chi Miguel Weekend in light of the COVID-19. Fundraising through the Chi Chi Miguel Weekend events benefit charities along the Gulf Coast with the majority of proceeds supporting local organizations in Walton & Okaloosa Counties. In a continued effort to support the cause, we hosted a virtual event and online auction on April 4 and successfully raised more than $!50,000 for non-profits in Walton & Okaloosa Counties.
The Emeril Lagasse Founation office will be closed until further notice as a precautionary response to COVID-19. Our team is continuing to work virtually, and we are in constant communication each day.