canadian hospitality worker relief fund

Canadian Hospitality Worker Relief Fund closes after thousands apply on first day

Just a day after launching, the Canadian Hospitality Worker Relief Fund (CHWRF) has closed its applications due to an "overwhelming" number of responses. 

The relief fund — which opened up to applicants from Canada's hard-hit hospitality sector yesterday at noon — has already stopped accepting new applications to process the thousands they received within 24 hours. 

Those who qualify can expect to receive their one-time $500 grant within two to four weeks, says the CWRF's website. 

"Our team is working hard to verify applications as fast as possible, until all funds have been distributed." 

Launched by Canadian chefs Vikram Vij, Victor Barry, and Dan Geltner, the CHWRF was announced recently as a grant to help with "day-to-day expenses like groceries, utility bills, rent or mortgage, and/or medical assistance." 

Workers who were eligible to apply included cooks, servers, dishwashers, bartenders, delivery people, and any others working in the restaurant and hospitality industries. 

Requirements included being over the age of 18, and having worked in the industry for at least 90 days in the past year. 

Applicants were also asked to prove that they had experienced a decrease in wages, or lost their job, on or after March 10, when the security measures around the pandemic began ramping up.

The relief fund is being administered by The Design Exchange, a registered chairty and cultural organization located in Toronto. 

According to Restaurants Canada, the global virus impacted more than 800,000 employees across the country, with more than half of restaurants and bars forced to close. 

While the Federal government has implemented a number of programs to help restaurant owners with rent relief, none have been aimed directly at workers within industries outside of the CERB.

It's unclear whether the CHWRF, whose founding partners include Welbilt, Garland, Uber Eats, and Nella Cucino, will launch a second round. 

Lead photo by

Hector Vasquez

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