PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- There's another way for unemployed restaurant workers to get some financial help, thanks to the Arizona Restaurant Association. The ARA has created the Arizona Restaurant Strong, a relief fund that is providing funding for restaurant workers who are now out of work and without a paycheck.

Steve Chucri, ARA president and CEO said, "As an organization, we must be proactive to help the restaurant industry service staff that are in economic distress." It's extra money is a big help to people like Fernando Bambaren.​

Restaurant help

Fernando Bambaren is a bar manager at Virtu Honest Craft in Old Town Scottsdale, which has been closed for five weeks now.

He's a bar manager at Virtu Honest Craft in Old Town Scottsdale, which has been closed for five weeks now.​ He has the extra expense of doctors and hospital visits, along with medications. Last October, he had a kidney transplant.​ He's now recovering and doing well, but is going without a pay check.

The Arizona Restaurant Strong Relief fund gives a maximum $500 to workers in the industry.​ Bambaren says every little bit helps, until he can get back to a job he loves.​

"That helps provide groceries, for me, it's going to help me get my medicine for the month," said Bambaren.​

The Arizona Restaurant Strong Relief Fund is specifically for industry service staff. That includes servers, bartenders, line cooks, dishwashers and other hourly workers in the restaurant industry.​ The initial amount of the fund is $250,000 so they'll be able to help a lot of folks. It's made possible thanks to the founding donors, Crescent Crown Distributing and Finley Distributing.

You can apply or donate to the fund online at www.azrestaurantstrong.com.

 

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