As we find ourselves navigating a new way of life for the foreseeable future, we wanted to bring attention to an industry that has close and long lasting ties to our company. While we at True Residential have been in business for 11 years now, our commercial arm, True Manufacturing, has a long and storied history. From its start supplying Roll Top Bottle Coolers to the 7UP company to now outfitting professional kitchens of restaurants—big and small—around the U.S. and Canada, we have always been big supporters of restaurants and the incredibly hardworking community that depends on them for their livelihoods.

That is one of many reasons we decided to provide monetary support to the James Beard Foundation Food and Beverage Industry Relief Fund. The fund was created to provide critical financial assistance to small independent bars and restaurants impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic—businesses essential to cities and towns across America. While the success of these restaurants offers an obvious boon to the U.S. economy, there are so many other positive elements the restaurant industry contributes to our society as a whole. If the happy proliferation of culinary shows are any indication, we are a nation of foodies and food lovers. From Netflix’s critically-acclaimed documentary series, Chef’s Table, to cult-favorite The Great British Baking Show on PBS, and Salt Fat Acid Heat, also on Netflix—the list of our collective culinary obsessions are long. But we want to make sure we don’t forget to support all of the people who make the service industry go ‘round. With James Beard Foundation’s initiative, the relief fund (now closed), will be split evenly between the 12 regions defined by the James Beard Awards (to view the first round of grantees, please click here). The goal in effect was to provide relief to the service industry workers and sustain local businesses while reducing the financial impact on communities as a whole. To date the fund has disbursed more than $4 million dollars to independent, locally owned restaurants around the country.

According to the James Beard Foundation (JBF), our beloved culinary industry generates $1 trillion in revenue per year, with the food & beverage industry alone employing nearly 16% of the American workforce. The numbers alone are staggering but most important are the social and cultural elements each of these businesses bring to all of our communities across the U.S. While the relief fund we donated to is now closed, the James Beard Foundation offers additional ways to support the industry here, as well as a variety of tool kits including industry support webinars along with a list of various relevant resources. More information on how to help along with JBF’s new Open for Good campaign, can be found on the James Beard Foundation’s website. On that note, we’d love to give a big shout out to our friend, Chef Michael Gallina of Vicia, located in our hometown of St. Louis. He was nominated for Best Chef: Midwest. For the full list of nominees for the 2020 James Beard Awards, please click here.