Southern Smoke exists to take care of our own.
As a nonprofit founded and powered by current and past F&B workers, we’ve felt the heat of our industry firsthand. Our efforts are dedicated to creating a meaningful safety net of support that doesn’t exist for most people in our world.
According to the Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation, less than 15% of F&B workers had healthcare coverage before the pandemic. Many live shift to shift and have to make impossible choices about paying for housing, groceries, and medical care. We help cover the cost of these essentials, and more.
We offer accessibility of mental health services to F+B workers across the country through a university affiliate program providing no-cost counseling to workers and their children in Texas, Louisiana, Illinois, New York, and California. Those who live outside of the service states can apply for financial assistance for mental health crises through our Emergency Relief Fund.
More than 55% of Southern Smoke grant recipients have at least one minor child at home. One-third have at least two. The majority of these recipients are single parents who receive zero child or marital support, and come to us on behalf of their family to help cover basic costs.
When situations and regulations change, we adapt. Since the start of the pandemic, we’ve tracked eviction moratoriums in every state, acquired knowledge about legal aid organizations, and have become fluent in financial statements. No matter where an applicant lives in America, we can help in some way.