A new fundraiser has been created – The Plate Fund – which will provide $500 emergency relief grants to individuals in King County who have lost their jobs in the restaurant industry or are experiencing significantly reduced hours of work due to the COVID-19 crisis.

To be eligible, applicants must have been earning less than $62,000 a year in gross income, inclusive of tips.

Individuals can apply through a mobile-enabled website: www.theplatefund.com.

“The need is enormous, and the money the fund distributes is limited to what we raise in the days and weeks ahead,” organizers said. “While our goal is to help as many people as possible, priority is given to applicants most in need, and the order applications are received.”

The application is a simple process. Applicants must provide their name and address and use their phone to take a photo of one form of government-issued identification. If they don’t have a government ID, two alternate forms of ID that show their address will work. They will verify that they have experienced a decrease in work hours or the loss of their job, and they will have to use their phone to take a photo of a pay stub issued on or after March 1. If they don’t have a pay stub, a letter from their employer will suffice.

To expedite this emergency assistance, payments will be made electronically. Individuals must provide their bank account information during the application process. Applicants may receive funding as soon as 48 hours after their application is approved. Applications will be processed as fast as possible, however, processing times may vary based on the volume of applications received. If the fund has been depleted, we will alert applicants and share a probable replenishment timeline.

We know that a small percentage of restaurant workers do not have bank accounts. We are working to add functionality to provide payments via debit or gift cards in the coming weeks. We will provide applicants with information about where they may open no-cost bank accounts.

More information here: