In an effort to help Hawaii’s restaurant workers, Hawaii Food & Wine Festival created the Kokua Restaurant Workers’ Fund to provide immediate support to restaurant and bar workers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in Hawaii.
Workers affected by the COVID-19 restaurant and bar closures will be eligible on a first come, first served basis to receive relief for meals for their families through a Visa card valued at $250. Visa card can be used at local restaurants throughout the State (some restrictions apply). Any restaurant that accepts Visa will be able to accept this Visa card as a form of payment for food. Individual restaurant and bar workers recently laid-off will need to apply for the assistance and the card will be issued via U.S. mail.
Please review FAQ below for more information before applying.
STATUS UPDATE: APPLICATIONS CLOSED
We have experienced an overwhelming number of applications and will be closing the application process.
We will continue to fundraise to assist additional restaurant workers. We invite you to place your name on a waitlist and as additional funding becomes available, we will contact you.
WHO IS ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE FUNDS FROM THE KOKUA RESTAURANT WORKERS' FUND?
The Kokua Restaurant Workers’ Fund (Fund) will provide financial support to individuals who were recently furloughed or laid-off from restaurants and bars due to COVID-19, in a form of a Visa card to be used to purchase meals at local restaurant.
Visa card (one per qualified person) will be available to restaurant and bar employees who can demonstrate that they are:
- A current resident of the State of Hawaii (a valid Hawaii State Driver’s License or Hawaii State Identification Card number is required);
- Worked full- or part-time in the restaurant or bar industry for at least the past 90 days prior to being furloughed or laid-off due to COVID-19;
- Employment in the restaurant or bar industry must have been the primary source of income for the last year;
- Have experienced a decrease in wage or loss of job on or after March 17, 2020; and
- Must provide copies of paystubs. 1. Paystub dated December 17, 2019 or earlier, and 2. Last paystub received (pay period must include March 17, 2020)
Visa card will be awarded on a first come, first served basis to those individuals who meet the eligibility criteria listed above. Kokua Restaurant Workers’ Fund has the right to reject any application and/or to disqualify any individuals suspected of providing false information. Limit one Visa card per person. Application will be accepted through June 30, 2020 or until funding runs out.
AFTER BEING FURLOUGHED/LAID-OFF, I MOVED TO THE MAINLAND. CAN I STILL BE ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE A VISA CARD?
No, you must be a current resident of the State of Hawaii.
I STARTED WORKING AT THE RESTAURANT/BAR IN JANUARY 2020 AND GOT FURLOUGHED OR LAID-OFF ON OR AROUND MARCH 17, 2020. CAN I STILL BE ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE A VISA CARD?
No, you must have been employed for at least 90 days prior to being furloughed or laid-off due to COVID-19.
I WORKED PART-TIME AT TWO DIFFERENT RESTAURANTS/BARS, AM I ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE A VISA CARD?
Yes, as long as your employment in the restaurant or bar industry was your primary source of income.
I WORKED AT TWO DIFFERENT RESTAURANTS/BARS, AM I ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE MORE THAN ONE VISA CARD?
In order to satisfy as many restaurant and bar employees, there is a limit of one (1) Visa card per person.
I HAVE A FULL-TIME NON-RESTAURANT/BAR JOB BUT WORKED PART-TIME AT A RESTAURANT/BAR, AM I ELIGIBLE TO RECEIVE A VISA CARD?
If your employment in the restaurant or bar industry was not your primary source of income, you are not eligible to receive a Visa card.
ARE THE VISA CARDS ONLY DESIGNATED FOR RESTAURANT AND BAR EMPLOYEES?
At present, we are designating our Visa cards to support those furloughed or laid-off employees (both front of house and back of house) of restaurants and bars that were mandated to close on March 17, 2020.
ARE SALARIED EMPLOYEES ELIGIBLE TO APPLY?
Yes, both hourly and salary employees of front of house and back of house are eligible to apply as long as they meet the eligibility guidelines.
I AM A RESTAURANT/BAR EMPLOYER, CAN I APPLY ON BEHALF OF MY EMPLOYEES?
We require personal information to be submitted, therefore we ask you to encourage your employees to apply directly. Please share the Kokua Restaurant Workers’ Fund application with your employees.
HOW MUCH FUNDING ARE YOU ABLE TO PROVIDE?
Each approved applicant will receive one (1) Visa card valued at $250, which can be used to purchase meals at local eating places and restaurants, fast food restaurants, bars and cocktail lounges throughout the state that accept Visa card. Any attempts to use the Visa card anywhere other than businesses listed or those not listed under merchant code 5812, 5813 or 5814 will not work.
Visa cards and its pertaining funds will expire eight (8) weeks from the date the Card is mailed. Any remaining funds will be transferred to another Visa card to support another applicant in need.
HOW WILL THE VISA CARDS BE DISTRIBUTED TO INDIVIDUAL EMPLOYEES?
Applications will be accepted through June 30, 2020 or until funds run out. Once the applicant is approved, Visa cards will be mailed to the home address listed on the application.
I WOULD LIKE TO DONATE TO THE KOKUA RESTAURANT WORKERS' FUND. HOW CAN I SUPPORT?
Thank you for your kokua! Please click HERE to make a donation.
If you would like to make a donation via-check, please make check payable to: Hawaii Food & Wine Festival and mail to:
Hawaii Food & Wine Festival
℅ Kokua Restaurant Workers’ Fund
3538 Waialae Ave. #202
Honolulu, HI 96816
Please include “Kokua Restaurant Workers’ Fund” in memo line to designate funds.
If you are interested in a larger corporate contribution, please contact Aya Leslie at email@example.com
WILL MY DONATION BE TAX DEDUCTIBLE?
Your donation is tax deductible, to the extent permitted by law; consult your tax advisor to determine the amount of your tax-deductible contribution.
Hawaii Ag & Culinary Alliance (EIN 46-0618609) dba Hawaii Food & Wine Festival is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.