[CRF] Emergency Fund Grants: Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation & No Us Without You LA

Written by on March 5, 2021

Launching the Critical Role Foundation has been such an incredible ray of sunshine for us and today, we’re excited to announce the recipients of our very first grants from our emergency fund. This fund allows us to react swiftly and provide financial support to organizations that provide relief services during emergencies and crises.

Many industries have been profoundly impacted by COVID-19 and the restaurant industry has been completely devastated. In a recent letter to Senate and House Representatives, the National Restaurant Association stated that in the last year, 17% of restaurants — some 110,000 establishments nationwide — have closed their doors for good, leaving many without jobs or financial support. And, of course, this doesn’t cover the hundreds of thousands of restaurants that are still open but facing severe economic challenges and are unsure as to what the future may hold. It’s been especially tough for undocumented workers who might not be able to apply for government-sponsored financial support.

In an effort to continue our mission to leave the world better than we found it, we have distributed two emergency grants to two nonprofit organizations that are working tirelessly to ensure that restaurants and restaurant workers are able to survive. Each of these nonprofits have been fully vetted by the Critical Role Foundation board of directors and we cannot stress how incredible both of these organizations have been to work alongside. And, of course, we encourage you to donate to these two wonderful organizations directly to help us level up our positive impact.


$15,000 grant given to the COVID-19 fund

We were drawn to Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation (RWCF) because of their long-standing, exemplary track record of providing restaurant owners and managers with resources to help create more ethical workplaces. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit last year, RWCF became one of the most valuable information sources for the many people that were left without work and that needed guidance to navigate the unknown waters ahead.

We were impressed with their multifaceted approach to COVID relief, which you can read about below. Donations to their COVID-19 fund assist in the following ways:

  • 50% for direct relief to individual restaurant workers
  • 25% for non-profit organizations serving restaurant workers in crisis
  • 25% for zero-interest loans for restaurants to get back up and running


By addressing quality-of-life issues that disproportionately affect restaurant workers – 40% of whom live on poverty-level wages – we hope to strengthen the workforce and increase opportunities for advancement in the industry to more people. The restaurant industry is notorious for low wages, poor job mobility, high turnover, and burnout. Structural and cultural issues within the industry decrease quality-of-life and make long term work in the industry unsustainable for many. But it doesn’t have to be that way. That’s why we’re focused on:

  • Wage Fairness and Career Ladders
  • Gender Equity and Sexual Violence
  • Racial Justice and Support for the Immigrant Community (be sure to check out RWCF’s newly launched Racial Justice Fund here)
  • Mental Health and Substance Abuse

To donate to RCWF or to learn more about the incredible work that they do, please click here.


Los Angeles
$15,000 grant given

The greater Los Angeles area has been a hotbed for COVID-19 over the past several months and it was crucial for us to find a partner that is working to help restaurant workers in our own community here in Los Angeles.

Enter No Us Without You LA, a new 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that has been putting in work to help feed and provide other invaluable resources to restaurant workers, especially those that are undocumented and often left out by public services and other fundraising efforts.

And, the best part? Our $15k grant, made possible by YOUR generosity, will feed 114 families here in Los Angeles for an entire month. We are honored to be able to help so many wonderful people in our local community.



No Us Without You LA has transformed Va’La Hospitality’s Boyle Heights office into a food distribution center. Launched with a goal of feeding 30 families a week, No Us Without You LA is now providing food security for over 1,300 families and distributing over 100,000 pounds of food every week. Donations have enabled No Us Without You LA to provide pantry essentials and fresh produce to back-of-house staff such as dishwashers, line and prep cooks. Thus, they have kept alive the heart and soul of the restaurant and bar industry, who are often treated as dispensable.

The two founding partners, Damian Diaz and Othón Nolasco, plan on offering food packages through 2021 as a way to show undocumented workers that they are not forgotten. They are not in the shadows. They are seen, heard, and respected.

To make a donation to No Us Without You LA or to learn more about the wonderful work that they’re doing, please check out their website here.


Through your kindness, we have been able to assist thousands of restaurant workers and their families across the country during one of the most challenging times in modern history. We cannot thank you enough for your incredible generosity and can’t wait to see how much more good we can put into the world in the year ahead. Thank you so, so much. We love you.

Header image taken by No Us Without You LA Media Director Mel Castro (@melhummel).

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