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Executive Chat - May 2020

Update on CORE – Children of Restaurant Employees – from Sheila Bennett, Executive Director

By Rebecca Patt, SVP Development, Wray Executive Search

I understand you’ve recently clarified CORE’s communications defining the fact on who the organization provides grants to restaurant employees with children. Tell us about the population that CORE strives to serve:

CORE provides grants that equate to financial relief to foodservice and beverage service employees with children when either the parent/guardian or child faces a health crisis, injury, a death, or natural disaster.

How many applications have you been receiving lately, and how many grants has CORE given?

This year, we have received more than 4500 applications. More than half of the early applications did not fit the CORE grant criteria, which is a big reason we tightened up the language. We currently receive an average of 260 applications a week. As of Friday, May 8, we have granted out $345,000 to help families.

How are you seeing that the Covid-19 pandemic is impacting the population that you serve?

The families facing a health crisis feel the additional financial strain in uncertain times when they are also displaced. We recognize them as employed and if they meet CORE criteria, they may qualify for a grant. We have also had families that inform us that their situation has changed, and they are no longer in need our financial support. They request that the funds go to someone else that needs help more than they do. That speaks to the heart of our industry.

Tell us about some of the highlights of your fundraising and awareness-boosting campaigns lately.

We were thrilled to be featured on the Jimmy Kimmel mini-cam show thanks to Barefoot Wine. CORE was included in several magazine Ads including the Tito’s Handmade Vodka Town & Country ad and the May 4 edition of the New Yorker. We launched the CORE COVID-19 Handwashing Challenge with Howie D from the Back Street Boys, Actor Joe Piscipo, Chef David Burke, Chef Stefanie Izzard and more.

What is next for CORE?

We are working to engage the entire industry to support CORE and increase visibility to food and beverage operations employees who need CORE.  We want to be the first resource that comes to mind, and we want to be here for our industry.

To learn more about CORE, applying for a grant, or donating to CORE, go to

Rebecca Patt specializes in recruiting top talent for the restaurant, food service, and food and beverage industry with Wray Executive Search. She can be reached at

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