Behind You, a Salem-based organization that is entirely volunteer run, previously provided financial support to food service industry employees who found themselves out of work due to illness or injury for a period longer than four weeks. Behind You is pleased to announce that they have recently surpassed $100,000 in funds raised for their COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund.
In the wake of COVID-19, Behind You made the decision to launch an additional fund, the COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund, focused on giving stipends to food service industry employees who could not work due to COVID-19 restrictions. The Emergency Fund grew in large part thanks to local breweries, three of which quickly became the biggest champions of fundraising efforts.
Bent Water Brewing Company in Lynn joined Behind You’s fundraising efforts, raising $1,500 through the sale of their All Together beer, which quickly sold out. “The North Shore is our home, so the efforts of Behind You really resonated with us by providing us with an opportunity to help service professionals in our own backyard,” says Robin Leopoldo of Bent Water Brewing.
Gentile Brewing Company in Beverly found a way to support Behind You, despite having to completely shift their service to take-away at the start of the pandemic, by donating $2 for every growler fill. Gentile has raised $1,130 to date for Behind You. “When our taproom was shut down due to COVID-19, we were fortunate that we were able to remain open for to-go sales. We are grateful we had that income opportunity to support those less fortunate in our community that were completely closed and out of work,” says Paul Gentile, Founder of Gentile Brewing.
Notch Brewing in Salem has become the single largest donor to Behind You’s efforts from the sale of their Salem Lager and a valuable resource: face coverings. “Notch decided to donate 100% of profits from their branded buffs (also known as neck gaiters), which fulfilled local requirements for face coverings. To date, combined with the sale of their Salem Lager, Notch has surpassed $10,000 in funds raised for Behind You,” says Dan Donato, president of Behind You’s Board of Directors.
“When the pandemic hit, we knew our ability to make charitable contributions would be greatly impacted. We decided to go all in with one organization that means the most to us: Behind You. Half of Notch’s business is generated through restaurants and bars and their staff promote and serve our beer on a daily basis. It was an easy decision to support Behind You,” says Notch Brewing Founder Chris Lohring.
“We’ve seen local breweries step up in major ways and make meaningful contributions to Behind You. The fact that businesses like Bent Water, Gentile, and Notch Brewing have chosen to prioritize support for the service industry when they have had to completely rethink their own operations in the wake of COVID-19 speaks volumes about their commitment to the community,” says Erin Truex, vice president for Behind You.
Other local restaurants contributing to the cause include Ledger, Blue Ox, and FRANK.
To date, Behind You’s COVID-19 Emergency Fund has disbursed nearly $50,000 to 199 individuals who found themselves out of work due to COVID-19 restrictions. Eligible individuals received $250 stipends to provide immediate assistance. Over 66 unique businesses have been supported through these stipends and include bars, breweries, cafes, distilleries, and restaurants. Funds are still available for individuals that live or work in Behind You’s service area of Beverly, Lynn, Marblehead, Peabody, Salem, and Swampscott. For more information on eligibility, visit behindyouinc.org.