San Diego Pride announced today that it will give out $30,000 in gift cards to local food and drink industry employees as part of its Pride Grocery Relief Fund for LGBTQ Bar and Restaurant Workers.
Three hundred $100 grocery gift cards are being distributed to the employees who have been financially impacted due to COVID-19 shutdowns.
"Our LGBTQ bar and restaurant workers are a precious resource to our LGBTQ community," San Diego Pride Director of Philanthropy Sarafina Scapicchio said.
"They are there when we celebrate our birthdays and special occasions. They provide the service and atmosphere for our first dates, and sometimes they even act as confidants for our LGBTQ community members when we are down and seeking a friendly face. The last few months have hit them hard as their wages and tips evaporated overnight. We're so proud to help make things just a little bit easier for them during this difficult time. They deserve our help as they have taken care of so many of us for so many years."
Since canceling in-person gatherings, San Diego Pride officials have been planning for their virtual celebration on July 18. Activists, nonprofits, local and international entertainers, community partners, elected officials, LGBTQ businesses and sponsors such as Tito's Handmade Vodka and Tequila Herradura will be featured as part of the virtual Pride celebration.
"LGBTQ entrepreneurs create LGBTQ jobs, careers, future business owners, and financial stability in a community that has historically been underemployed," San Diego Pride Executive Director Fernando Z. Lopez said.
"These business leaders and their employees have always maintained a philanthropic mindset as they helped to build our community, nonprofit landscape, and strong found-family bonds. We are so fortunate to be in a position, thanks to our sponsors, where we can return some of that goodwill and support back to some of our community's most treasured LGBTQ spaces and people."