Hospitality staff can apply for financial assistance at Southernsmoke.org.
Hospitality staff can apply for financial assistance at Southernsmoke.org.
Photo by Catchlight Photography

Southern Smoke's Application for Hospitality Worker Hurricane Assistance Is Live

The application for members of the food and beverage community and their suppliers to obtain Hurricane Harvey assistance from Southern Smoke and Legacy Community Health is now live at southernsmoke.org.

Southern Smoke is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable foundation founded by James Beard Award-winning chef Chris Shepherd. While the annual event usually benefits the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, in 2017 Southern Smoke has partnered with Legacy Community Health to raise and distribute funds to professionals in the culinary industry who have been financially affected by Hurricane Harvey. This includes those who work at restaurants and bars, and on the supply side of the hospitality industry, including ranchers, farmers, drivers for food supply, brewery employees and so forth.

If you did not have flood insurance between August 25 and 29, 2017, and meet one of the following criteria and have been negatively affected by Hurricane Harvey, you can apply:

  • You are employed by a Houston-area restaurant
  • You are employed by a Houston-area bar
  • You are an owner/operator of a Houston-area restaurant and/or bar
  • You are employed by a Houston-area restaurant or bar supplier

Completed applications must be submitted by October 23, 2017, to be considered.

From there, each application will be verified by a committee of volunteers. Once verified, all personal information will be removed and the application will be forwarded to a separate awards committee. The awards committee will be made up of community members from various and diverse backgrounds and professions. The awards committee will select awardees by vote. Awards will be designated in $1,000 increments. No awardee will be granted more than $10,000, and all funds granted will be taxed accordingly.

According to Southern Smoke, it's on pace to donate $500,000 directly to members of the Houston community who were affected. For those interested in helping, head to southernsmoke.org to make a donation or purchase tickets to the event — $200 for general admission; $350 for VIP — which brings together some of the best pitmasters and chefs in the South, including Aaron Franklin, John Besh, Rodney Scott and more, on October 22.

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