Hospitality Cares Pandemic Response Fund



The application process is now closed. Learn more.

“I am in tears right now, I just received the email stating I am receiving the grant. I literally just spent my last $9 for gas and groceries. I have been praying for work and strength to get my 10-year-old son and I through these difficult times. I was about to give up, until I read my emails. From the bottom of our hearts thank you…Bills are piling up and now I will be able to get more food for us and pay some of these bills. God Bless.” – Crisis Grant Recipient

Click here to read more stories about how YOU helped those in our Hospitality Industry. 


Southeast Louisiana has always risen to the challenge as a community during times of crisis: growing victory gardens during WWII, raising flags after 9/11, sending supplies after Hurricanes Katrina, stacking sandbags during floods. 

We are again facing such a crisis. While we worry about our own futures, we must not forget the people in our community who are already struggling with the financial effects of COVID-19.

United Way of Southeast Louisiana and Entergy Corporation are committing $250,000 and $200,000, respectively, to stand up the Hospitality Cares Pandemic Fund and are actively recruiting donations, along with Louisiana Hospitality Foundation, from business and industry, foundations, and the public. Fidelity Bank responded to the call, pledging the first gift of $25,000, and will join the effort in challenging its fellow banks to contribute. The fund will provide crisis grants to hospitality workers who are unable to afford basic financial needs during the COVID-19 outbreak.

We need your support today – our community’s beloved hospitality is at stake.


When ALICE® suffers, we all suffer.

There are over 72,000 individuals employed in hospitality and tourism industry, which accounts for about 12 percent of all workers in the region. And while this industry supports an array of income levels, most of the jobs are in low-wage occupations.

Cash-strapped households, commonly referred to as ALICE® (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed), are often forced to make impossible choices, like deciding between filling a prescription or buying groceries. These short-term decisions – multiplied during a crisis of this scale – have long-term consequences not only for hospitality workers but for all of us. 

It’s clear that a large portion of our population is teetering on the edge of financial ruin and unable to withstand much time out of work.




Award Size up to $500
Eligibility for Multiple Awards No. This is a one time award
Approval Criteria

Has not previously been awarded a Hospitality Cares Pandemic Response Fund grant

Earn a household income at or below $61,000

Reside in United Way of Southeast Louisiana’s seven-parish service area, including Jefferson, Orleans, St. Bernard, St. Tammany, Plaquemines, Tangipahoa, or Washington parishes

Work(ed) directly for a restaurant, bar, hotel, caterer, casino (food/beverage/lodging employees), or event staffing company in Louisiana between Feb 1, 2020, and date of application.

Are experiencing a financial emergency as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak

Document Requirements

Income Eligibility: Copy of 2018 or 2019 1040/1040EZ Federal Tax Return

Residency Eligibility: (Choice of one) Louisiana Government Issued ID, Louisiana Driver’s License, 2020 electricity bill, 2020 water utility bill, lease, or mortgage statement

Industry Eligibility: Paystub with your name, your employer’s name, and days worked between February 1, 2020, and date of application, or COVID-19 separation letter from employer

Direct Deposit form (optional, signature required)

Note: We recommend that you acquire the following documents before starting to complete the online application. Files must be uploaded in jpg, png or pdf format - photos in these file format will be accepted. Each document submitted must be legible and portions of the document must not be cutoff.

Grant Disbursement

By check or direct deposit

Note: If you are selected for an award and choose to receive it by mail, the address submitted on your application is where the award check will be sent.


Funding Source for Relief Fund

United Way of Southeast Louisiana committed $250,000 to support the fund.  Entergy Corporation followed with a $200,000 committment along with Fidelity Bank with a $25,000 committment and Baptist Community Ministries with a $200,000 committment.  Click here for full list of supporters.


Please direct all questions to





The final round of application is closed.  

Please direct all questions to If you are awaiting information on your application status, please double-check your inbox for outreach from your caseworker before you contact info@louisianahospitality.orgFunds are limited and it is not guaranteed that each qualified applicant will be approved.

Thank you to all our donors and supporters for your contributions. Because of you, UWSELA will grant out more than 4,300 emergency crisis grants to hospitality workers in needs.  



Hospitality Thanks YOU!

“I moved here alone a year ago, so my restaurant and my guests are my family. To see the community come together like this, to take care of my industry during this hard time in our country, gives me so much hope and faith in humanity.” Crisis Grant Recipient

“When the schools closed down I had to remove myself from the schedule to take care of my five-year-old – then to have our dining room shut down days later. It’s been hard to deal with the stress and financial stress while trying to stay positive for your child and learning how to teach pre-k without bursting into tears. Thanks to the grant, I can breathe a little easier especially since schools have also shut down hot lunches for kids locally. We’ll get through this together.” – Crisis Grant Recipient

“Before COVID-19, I was working full-time five days with a 40-hour work week for a hotel in downtown New Orleans. Once COVID-19 began to affect my city and the numbers began to grow rapidly, I was reduced to 20-25 hours per week - not knowing if soon I would be without a job. Last week my hours were cut again, and as of today I was furloughed.  My daughter is presumptive positive with the COVID-19 virus and is still waiting for her results. I looked for the assistance through the Hospitality Cares Pandemic Response Fund so that I am able to provide for my grandkids and myself and I am soooooooo thankful for United Way of Southeast Louisiana who was able to give me some relief and comfort in knowing that I will be able to provide the basic needs to my family with their assistance. I will forever be grateful!” – Crisis Grant Recipient



United Way of Southeast Louisiana supports the stability and well-being of our region, which makes us especially concerned about Coronavirus Disease 2019’s (COVID19) progression here at home. Click here to view our regularly-updated list of community resources and trustworthy information links related to COVID-19. 












- Stephen & Sandy Rosenthal - Mary Zervigon - Cathy & Mark McRae - Peyton & Ashley Manning - Demario and Tamela Davis