An new initiative called ‘Help for Hospo’ has launched to provide direct and additional support to hospitality workers who need immediate financial help.

The initiative will distribute donated funds to those who work within the industry and need extra support to make ends meet.

The #helpforhospo fund was created by Blair Duncan, Managing Director of Red+White Cellar, who has led the initiative by donating $10,000.

This figure has now been matched through donations by other businesses and individuals.

Applications for support can be made on the website www.helpforhospo.co.nz now.

Approximately 170,000 are employed within the New Zealand hospitality industry – including baristas, bartenders, cleaners, chefs, wait staff and more. Nearly 40% are concentrated in Auckland.

Duncan, a supplier to many outlets within the industry, was inspired to act and created the initiative after hearing stories of hospitality workers struggling with the impact and fallout of COVID-19.

“Valued members of our hospitality family, who are really struggling right now to take care of themselves and their families,” he says.

“I was concerned, particularly about those who are looking after others.

“I just really wanted to help and in talking to others, I found others did too.

“We’ve been able to pull this together over the last few days, despite the complexity of developing fair and secure processes to distribute money.”

The process is designed to be discrete and direct, applications will be taken online and processed by a small and confidential disbursement committee.

Payments of $100 will be made to applicants, with a view to helping as many as possible.

In certain cases, at the discretion of the disbursement committee, further support may be given.

“The speed at which we have been able to pull together is indicative of the desire to help,” says Duncan.

“A $100 payment is not going to be life-changing, but it should help a bit right now, today. We hope to help as many people as we can.”

The initiative will continue as long as there are funds to disperse.

Those who have supported the initiative so far are largely suppliers to the industry.

A Givealittle page is being set up for individuals wishing to contribute directly.

“This community serves us on a daily basis – from our morning coffee, to lunch on the run and special dinners with family and friends,” says Duncan.

“But right now, there are people who need our support, we see it as our turn to serve.”

Applications can be made now at www.helpforhospo.co.nz with the team committed to processing within a week.

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