The Ohio Restaurant Association Education Foundation announces the launching of statewide fundraising campaign to benefit Ohio Restaurant Employee Relief Fund
From Monday, January 25 to Sunday, January 31, the Ohio Restaurant Association Education Foundation (ORAEF) is collaborating with pizza operators and restauranteurs with generous hearts on a statewide fundraiser, called Pizza with a Purpose, to benefit the Ohio Restaurant Employee Relief Fund.
Participating pizza operators across the Buckeye state will donate $1.00 per pepperoni pizza sold to the Fund, which provides grants to restaurant, foodservice and hospitality employees financially impacted by the pandemic.
The number of pizzas sold will be tracked, the individual location that sells the most pizzas will be recognized as “Best Pepperoni Pizza” in Ohio and awarded the coveted “Golden Pizza” slice trophy.
Currently, more than 250 operators and restauranteurs with over 100 locations total have signed up to participate, including the following:
Click here to view all participants.
“We’re incredibly honored and excited to be a part of this effort to raise awareness and funds for restaurant employees that are hurting during this difficult time. Getting pizza operators across the state to come together for a great cause is something that is the heart of every business owner that cares about their community and its people,” said Ryan Rose, president & CEO of Romeo’s Pizza Franchise, one of many participating operators. Rose is a member of the ORA & Education Foundation board of directors.
“We are so thankful for all of the pizza operators participating to help raise funds for those in need,” said John Barker, ORA president & CEO. “The need is severe. During the pandemic, we’ve conducted polls about the health of restaurants across the state to assess the devastating impacts of COVID-19 on the industry. Recent poll numbers reveal that at current capacity, 74% of Ohio restaurant operators believe they will be forced to close within one year and 82% of respondents did not break even in 2020. Additionally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics just released numbers that the restaurant industry lost 372,000 jobs nationwide in the month of December alone and is down 2.4 million jobs since March 2020.”
Even with the vaccine distribution in the early stages, Ohio’s 585,000 restaurant and foodservice employees are still struggling to find work due to many furloughs and are in financial distress.
“Since its launch in April 2020, the Relief Fund has awarded more than 1,300 grants to use for housing, living and medical expenses, and fundraised over $400,000 for employees in need,” said Patty Halper, Executive Director of the ORA Education Foundation. “Pizza with a Purpose is one of the many ways the ORAEF and generous operators are supporting them and we look forward to the promotion later this month.”
Pizza enthusiasts can learn more here and contribute to the cause through participating in Pizza with a Purpose or by donating directly to the fund at OhioRestaurantsRelief.org.