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The Greater New Orleans Foundation launches the Louisiana Service and Hospitality Family Assistance Program

Program is supported from the Gayle Benson Community Assistance Fund, McIlhenny Company and the Louisiana Restaurant Association

The Greater New Orleans Foundation (GNOF) launched the Louisiana Service and Hospitality Family Assistance Program, an initiative to support negatively impacted Louisiana service and hospitality workers who are supporting their dependent children and elderly parents and need help to continue meeting their basic needs during the coronavirus pandemic.

The program is the first initiative to launch with resources contributed by Mrs. Gayle Benson through the Gayle Benson Community Assistance Fund at GNOF. Five hundred thousand dollars from the Gayle Benson Community Assistance Fund and $100,000 in newly contributed money from McIlhenny Company, maker of Tabasco® Brand Pepper Sauce, will be the catalysts to kick this program off with an initial $600,000 in funding. This program is launched in partnership with the Louisiana Restaurant Association which will be promoting the initiative alongside its ongoing advocacy for the region's restaurants and workers.

To support this program's expansion, please donate to the Gayle Benson Community Assistance Fund at the Greater New Orleans Foundation by visiting

"Service and hospitality workers are the backbone of this region's economy," said GNOF President & CEO, Andy Kopplin. "Thanks to the generosity of Mrs. Benson, the Tabasco® brand and the McIlhenny family, we have the opportunity to support hospitality workers and their families and help them make ends meet in these difficult times."

"Every day, it is these individuals who do whatever it takes for our restaurants, bars, and hotels to operate at peak performance, and now we must do our part to return the favor," said Mrs. Gayle Benson, team owner of the New Orleans Saints and Pelicans. "We are excited to partner with GNOF because we knew they have the tools to effectively get these resources to the families who need them both quickly and efficiently."

"In this current state of emergency, the service and hospitality workers so essential to our local economy are among the most adversely affected, particularly those who are caring for children and elderly family members," said Harold G. Osborn, president and CEO of McIlhenny Company. "We invite everyone in the community in a position to help to donate to this fund to ensure the service and hospitality industry workers and their families who need our help the most get support."

"Thanks to the Greater New Orleans Foundation, Mrs. Gayle Benson, and McIlhenny Company, some of the most vulnerable families who depend on the earnings of service and hospitality workers will get much needed help," said Stan Harris, CEO of the Louisiana Restaurant Association.

The program will award grants of up to $1,000 to support service and hospitality industry employees who are primary caregivers for dependent children and elderly parents.

To qualify, individuals applying must also:

  • Have earned below 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI) prior to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Worked more than 32 hours per week in restaurants, bars, or hotels in the Greater New Orleans Foundation's 13-parish region prior to March 9, 2020

To apply for an award, visit GNOF's online grants portal at The application portal will open at 9 a.m. Wednesday, March 25, 2020. Applications will be available in English, Spanish, and Vietnamese online only. Applications will be reviewed within 10 days and successful awards will be disbursed within 14 days.

Applicant must submit:

  • Electronic copy of your driver's license or other government-issued ID
  • Pay stubs for most recent 30 days
  • Copy of your most recent 2018 or 2019 federal tax form

About the Greater New Orleans Foundation (GNOF):
With roots extending over 90 years, the Greater New Orleans Foundation has been connecting generous people to the causes that spark their passion. As one of the most trusted philanthropic organizations in the region, we work every day to drive positive impact through philanthropy, leadership, and action in our thirteen-parish region. In addition to grantmaking, we convene people, resources, and ideas to create intelligent strategies and solutions to meet our region's greatest challenges. We are proud to serve as a vocal civic leader with our partners to ensure a vibrant, sustainable, and just region for all. Learn more at

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