Heinz is partnering with nonprofit organizations The LEE Initiative and Southern Restaurants for Racial Justice to preserve the legacy of Black-owned restaurants through a grant program and by offering other resources.
Molly White, general manager and VP of taste elevation, Kraft Heinz, said in a statement, “Black-owned restaurants are critically important to communities across the country and we saw this as an opportunity to help ensure these businesses thrive for years to come. We’re proud to kick off a partnership with The LEE Initiative to help foster a more diverse and equitable restaurant industry as well as preserve the legacy of these restaurants, and we anticipate working closely together as we celebrate, honor, and uplift culinary leaders in the Black community.”
The partnership will kick off with the distribution of 60 grants through SRRJ, a coalition of industry leaders doing the work to benefit Black-owned restaurants and communities. Grant winners will receive financial support of up to $20,000 per grant, broadened reach via Heinz-owned social media channels and paid publishing channel partners, as well as Heinz employee resources and business expertise to further support the longevity of Black-owned restaurants and entrepreneurship, such as assistance, training and resources in human resources, finance, and marketing.
“Restaurants are in a perilous time and their struggles do not disappear because COVID restrictions are lifted,” said Chef Edward Lee, co-founder and creative director, The LEE Initiative, in a statement. “Black-owned restaurants, especially traditional, family-owned ones, are especially at risk right now. We are excited to partner with Heinz—an American classic—to identify and help preserve many of these incredible Black-owned restaurants that are also at the heart of the classic American dinner table.”
Restaurant owners can apply through May 8. Applications will be reviewed by SRRJ founders and a selection committee and will be evaluated on factors including a restaurant’s community involvement and plans for the grant money.
Image: Heinz/The LEE Initiative