partner story

Assisting restaurant workers during 
uncertain times.

Delaware Restaurant Association

2020 grant recipient

Two women dining outside, clinking drink glasses

In early 2020, the pandemic shook the restaurant industry, shuttering some establishments and forcing others to downsize. In the state of Delaware, two-thirds of food-industry folks lost their jobs by April.

With the help of seed funding from Red Wagon, the Delaware Restaurant Association rallied to help. The organization launched the Delaware Emergency Action Trust, better known as DE EATs—an emergency relief fund designed to support restaurant workers.

Mobilized in just three days, the initiative was simple and effective. It provided small stipends to unemployed restaurant staff to help them cover living expenses. The DE EATs team shared word of the opportunity through social media, and it practically went viral. The stipends were sent out to the community, helping put food on the table and pay the rent.

The project shows what happens when you don’t overthink generosity. To date, DE EATs has leveraged support from Red Wagon and other donors to give over $290,000 to more than 575 individuals—and helped keep this essential industry cooking.



initially granted
by Red Wagon


distributed in total
to restaurant staff


people supported

One positive action leads to another

Our partners use funding to accomplish something greater than themselves. Consider the ripple effect of DRA’s work.

  • Red Wagon granted seed money for a restaurant-industry relief fund
  • Emergency stipends helped laid-off staff meet their families’ needs
  • Fast and broad support helped stabilize this essential sector

For so long, restaurant workers felt nonexistent—that their lives and jobs didn’t matter. By providing funds quickly, we made them feel like someone was listening to them.

Carrie Leishman's headshot

Carrie Leishman,
President & CEO of Delaware Restaurant Association

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