- WHY: Black-owned restaurants, food spaces, and chefs continue to face serious financial hurdles and inequity in access to capital. In fact, a recent report revealed that 37% of Black small business owners had difficulty accessing new capital and financing – 14 percentage points higher than their non-Black peers.1
- IMPACT OF BLACK KITCHEN INITIATIVE: Since 2020, HEINZ and the LEE initiative have partnered to donate $3M towards grants for black-owned food businesses across the country, supporting and preserving Black culture in America’s culinary society. Previous recipients have expressed their gratitude for the grant and the way it helped their businesses, making HEINZ even more excited to continue this initiative. Black Kitchen Initiative provides financial support of up to $25K per grant, based on need.
- PREVIOUS RECIPIENT RESPONSE: “Winning the grant was so special, but receiving it during the pandemic made it even more beneficial as it was a tremendous help in staying afloat and maintaining my business during that time. It helped in allowing us to pay employees, buy supplies needed in order to run the business and fix our broken equipment. Because the restaurant has a lot of rich history, customers were looking for us to stay open and continue business, so this grant helped us sustain just that. We are now still a part of the same community we have been for the last 77 years thanks to HEINZ,” stated 2021 grant recipient, Patrice Bates Thompson of The Fourway Restaurant.
Through August 11th, restaurant owners can apply for the 2023 grant at leeinitiative.org. Please see HERE and below for assets, release and additional information and let me know if you’re interested in covering.
Thanks for considering!
David Prather, on behalf of HEINZ
- Megan Lang, Director of Brand Communications, HEINZ: “The HEINZ Black Kitchen Initiative aims to celebrate and preserve the legacy of Black food culture by helping to break down barriers that keep Black voices and cooking out of America’s culinary space. We’re proud to continue our partnership with The LEE Initiative and SRRJ. We’ve heard from past recipients just how impactful the grants have been in supporting their businesses across the country, and we are thrilled to provide another $1 million in grants in 2023.”
- Lindsey Ofcacek, Co-founder and Executive Director of The LEE Initiative: “Through our partnership with HEINZ and SRRJ, we’re elated to have the chance to uplift so many talented business owners across the country and to empower diverse entrepreneurs in the hospitality space. We’re especially excited to continue doing this work, given the success and growth of past grant recipients. There is undoubtedly more work to be done in making the industry more equitable, but I’m grateful we can play a part in deploying resources to these incredible black entrepreneurs.”