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America’s Black-owned food businesses can apply for 15-25K grants today

by Ezekiel J. Walker
America's Black-owned food businesses can apply for 15-25K grants today
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The LEE Initiative, in partnership with Southern Restaurants for Racial Justice and Heinz have announced a second year of grants for Black-owned food businesses across the United States.

Cheryl Day, Founder of Southern Restaurants for Racial Justice, explains, “I really want to make sure that these Black-owned restaurants are seen, heard, and can build these legacy businesses.” She continued, “From the heart, I want to make sure they are sustainable and that we’re offering what they need.”

Heinz helps Black businesses catch up.

The LEE Initiative, Southern Restaurants for Racial Justice, and HEINZ will award grants in the amount of $15,000 to $25,000 each to Black-owned food businesses – both existing and startups. In addition to the monetary awards, this year’s grants for new Black-owned food businesses will include a continuing education component for grantees with seminars featuring food-industry veterans. The seminars will feature timely and relevant topics such as commercial leases, small business accounting, and employee training and retention.

“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to further our commitment to foster a more diverse and equitable restaurant industry in partnership with the LEE Initiative and SRRJ,” said Megan Lang, director of brand communications, HEINZ. “It is an honor to play a role in preserving the legacy of these restaurants, and we look forward to continuing our mission to help celebrate and preserve the legacy of Black food and culinary culture over the long term.”

Applications open today for Black-owned restaurants to participate.

In 2021, this program awarded a total of $1,136,000 in grants to 72 Black-owned food businesses and worked with partners to create The Black Kitchen Initiative, an award-winning podcast series hosted by Adrian Miller.

Applications for this year’s grants open on July 7 at www.leeinitiative.org and will be open through August 7. Recipients will be notified in late August and announced in September.

Learn more about the granters serving America’s Black-owned food businesses.

The LEE Initiative creates and implements programs to address issues of diversity and equity in the restaurant industry, always with a focus on increasing opportunities for employment and helping to make the restaurant industry more sustainable. For more information visit the website.

Chef Edward Lee is the chef/owner of 610 Magnolia in Louisville, KY and culinary director for Succotash in National Harbor, Maryland, and in Washington, DC. He has received multiple finalist nominations for the James Beard Foundation Awards Best Chef: Southeast. He appears frequently in print and television and was recently nominated for a daytime Emmy for his role as host of the Emmy-winning series, The Mind of Chef on PBS. For more information on Chef Edward Lee, follow him on Twitter or Instagram or visit www.chefedwardlee.com

As global citizens, The Kraft Heinz Company is dedicated to making a sustainable, ethical impact while helping feed the world in healthy, responsible ways. Learn more about the journey by visiting www.kraftheinzcompany.com.

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