Wine glasses

The Beaufort Wine & Food organization has held its annual fundraiser since 2004 and used proceeds to help nonprofits. Now, they are raising money to help restaurant workers affected by COVID-19. (File photo)

Beaufort Wine & Food is reaching out to support the restaurant industry during the period of uncertainty caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the organization is asking members of the public to help.

With the closure of dine-in service at restaurants across the state, many are experiencing significant losses of wages, so staff at Beaufort Wine & Food started a fund to assist those workers, according to a recent release.

The fund is open to those in the Crystal Coast restaurant industry who have experienced wage disruption or layoffs due to coronavirus-based restaurant closures. All Carteret County restaurant workers are eligible, including wait staff, bartenders, hosts, managers, delivery drivers, cooks, catering staff, dishwashers and other restaurant and bar workers.

Beaufort Wine & Food has been asking people to donate at facebook.com/donate/2578895025679085 or at my-site-109349-106533.square.site/ since Saturday.

There has been an outpouring of support.  As of Monday morning, Beaufort Wine & Food had received $13,500 for the fund, and organizers were “so moved” they decided to match $12,500, bringing the total available to $26,000.

They don’t want to stop because there are thousands of workers who need assistance, according to the release. The links above are still available to make tax-deductible donations, but the organization will also accept checks made out to Beaufort Wine and Food with “Crystal Coast Restaurant Workers Relief Fund” on the memo line. Checks should be mailed to Beaufort Wine & Food, 129 Middle Lane, Beaufort, NC 28516.

Those who would like to apply for assistance should access beaufortwineandfood.org.

For more information, email restaurantrelief@beaufortwineandfood.com.

Beaufort Wine & Food began as a weekend event in April 2004 and has evolved into an organization that holds fundraising events all year, donating over $760,000 to area nonprofits since its inception. This year’s event has been postponed.

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