AUSTIN, Texas, April 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Today, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas (BCBSTX) gifted a $1,000,000 grant to the Texas Restaurant Association’s TX Restaurant Relief Fund, an initiative of the Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation (TRAEF). Established in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the TX Restaurant Relief Fund provides immediate financial support to Texas’ independent restauranteurs and their employees.
This grant will be used to keep restaurant operations open and employees working, while also providing first-responders across Texas with meals to show appreciation for all they are doing during this unprecedented crisis.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused an incredible challenge for restaurants. A critical component of the food supply chain, restaurants are the hearts of our communities and are in a fight for survival,” said Dr. Emily Williams Knight, President and CEO of the Texas Restaurant Association and Education Foundation. “In times of crisis, restaurants are always there to support their communities and first responders; in this crisis, restaurants need the support of their communities now more than ever. This generous grant provides direct financial support for restaurants across Texas while allowing them to continue supporting first responders. I could not imagine a more significant win and I am incredibly thankful for the generosity and partnership of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas.”
“We have a long history of supporting community organizations, and now, more than ever, it’s important to support the areas where our communities need it the most, which is why we established the Collaborative Grant Fund,” said Dr. Dan McCoy, president BCBSTX. “Through these grants, we are working to move resources to community-based organizations that are directly supporting local residents and families who are most impacted by the emerging health, economic, and social impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. We applaud the TX Restaurant Relief Fund and its effort to support independent restauranteurs and their employees.”
The TX Restaurant Relief Fund initiative of the TRAEF will be distributing the $1 million BCBSTX grant through two channels. The first will support independently owned restaurants who in turn will provide local area hospitals in their counties with individually packaged meals for staff working with COVID-19 patients. The second channel will be in partnership with Whataburger, a Texas-based company, and Chipotle. First responders in the fields of medicine, fire, and police will be invited to enjoy a complimentary combo meal or bowl of their choice from one of these leading restaurants, key brands in the Texas fast-casual restaurant sector, and phenomenal partners.
In addition to providing more than 150,000 meals to first responders, the BCBSTX grant will provide support to more than 100 independently owned restaurants, 670 Whataburger, and more than 220 Chipotle stores across Texas.
On Tuesday, April 21, 2020 at 1:30 p.m. Dr. Emily Williams Knight, President & CEO, and Joe Monastero, Chief Strategist & Operations Officer of the TRA and TRAEF, along with Dr. Dan McCoy of BCBSTX, Ed Nelson of Whataburger, and Diana Kloesel of Kloesel’s Steakhouse and Bar in Moulton, Texas, will hold a virtual press conference to officially launch the grant and further highlight this program under the TX Restaurant Relief Fund initiative. Press may join the conference via this link here.
About the Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation
Established in 1994 by the Texas Restaurant Association (TRA), the Texas Restaurant Association Education Foundation (TRAEF) is a 501(c)3 not for profit organization focused on providing the necessary resources to help restaurateurs confront educational and labor challenges with the latest innovations in education, technology, and training. It is the workforce development arm of the TRA.