A grass roots fund seeks to support East Falls restaurant and bar staff
When times are good, they bring you food and drinks. With businesses shuttered since March throughout the city, bartenders and waitstaff have had to find other ways to make ends meet.
In East Falls, Elya Beer and a group of dedicated neighbors came up with the “East Falls Hospitality Relief Fund” – a GoFundMe to support the folks who kept us happy and satisfied in better times.
Elya and his partner Kelly moved to East Falls in July of last year and quickly became enamored with the neighborhood and the people. Both of them have worked for years in the restaurant/bar industry and can appreciate how hard a job it can be. (Kelly spent two years working at Jose Pistola‘s in Center City and Elya has worked at many restaurants and bars for 6 years before he moved to Philly for law school at the University of Pennsylvania in 2012.)
When it became clear the pandemic would shutter Philly’s bars and restaurants, Elya reached out to a group of neighbors for help setting up the Fund.
- Kelly Shellenberger, special education teacher at Esperanza Academy
- Jasmine Fields, general manager at Trolley Car Cafe and East Falls Development Corporation (EFDC) board member
- John Hawkins, President and CEO of Philly Strategies and EFDC board member
The group has raised more than $7200 dollars as of mid-April (with a goal of $10K) and plans to begin distributing funds to East Falls servers/bartenders in mid-April (through mid-May, but the response has been so good that distributions may continue). As of this writing, the first distribution has gone out — $2,700 to 26 hospitality workers in the neighborhood.
For more info about the fund — and to donate! — visit the Falls Fund on GoFundMe.com.
SPECIAL OFFER: Donate $100 or more for your choice of beautifully-decorated ceramic plate by AssemblyLines, an East Falls artist (while supplies last).
EF Bar & Restaurant Workers: complete this easy, online form to begin the application process for Financial Aid. Cheers!