Volunteers set up economic relief fund for Montreal restaurant workers

Mar 20 2020, 6:38 am

With restaurants, bars, and cafes closing across the city as a result of social distancing, a group of volunteers launched the Montreal Restaurant Workers Relief Fund (MRWRF) to provide emergency economic relief to the industry’s employees.

Because owners are running out of resources to pay its staff, workers now find themselves in financially precarious situations.

As a response, the MRWRF will “provide aid by transferring direct financial relief” to eligible applicants.

“We started this fund because many of us are restaurant workers,” says founder Kaitlin Doucette. “I saw many of my colleagues terrified about even how to get groceries for self-isolation. I wanted to create a platform to share wealth for people who had a couple dollars to contribute, so we could pool that and provide immediate financial relief to workers.”

With the government’s aid still at a standstill, MRWRF will provide instant relief for those most in need.

“This is why the fund will be transferring money to restaurant workers on a sliding scale of $50, $100, or $150 based on applicants’ self-identified needs,” reads the website. “The funds are not meant to be an income replacement, but are intended to contribute to workers’ immediate and urgent needs such as groceries and medication or other health and personal hygiene products; this is a wealth-share program and is contribution-based.”


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The Montreal Restaurant Workers Relief Fund’s management team is made up of restaurant workers, McGill law students, and non-profit experts who say they will “take every measure to ensure funds are being distributed to those who need them.”

Donators are asked to consider contributing what you can, “what you’d normally spend on restaurant tips for an average week,” and applicants are urged to apply on the fund’s website.

Note: With coronavirus on the rise, Quebec Public Health is reminding individuals who attend events and large gatherings to monitor their health for signs and symptoms of COVID-19. And if you’re not feeling well, they recommend staying home at this time. Also, due to unexpected cancellations, please check the event you plan to attend is still taking place. Keep up with COVID-19 news here.

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