The RI Hospitality Association (RIHA) and RI Hospitality Education Foundation (RIHEF) announced yesterday that it has established the RI Hospitality Employee Relief Fund to benefit statewide foodservice, lodging and tourism employees who have been laid off due to the COVID-19 situation.

Rhode Island-based hospitality workers who have recently been laid off due to business closures and statewide restrictions imposed as part of the response to the coronavirus pandemic are eligible to receive up to $250.00 in financial assistance to help alleviate the burden of basic financial needs such as food, shelter, utilities, insurance and more.

“In these uncertain times, it’s critically important to work as a community,” said Heather Singleton, Chief Operating Officer, RI Hospitality Association and RI Hospitality Education Foundation in a news release. “The RI Hospitality Association is doing everything in our power to help those in our industry who are facing unexpected financial hardship and ask our fellow Rhode Islanders who have the means to do so to donate to this fund.”

Donations can be made to the fund through the RI Hospitality Education Foundation’s website. For more information, please contact Heather Singleton, Chief Operating Officer of RIHA and RIHEF, by calling 401-223-1120 x 110, or by emailing

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Ryan Belmore has been the Owner & Publisher of What's Up Newp since 2012. He also currently works for Mountain News, where he serves as Senior Editor - North America for OnTheSnow. He previously worked for the New England Patriots and American Cancer Society. He currently serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).