The Giving Kitchen (TGK) is a nonprofit charity based in Atlanta, GA inspired by an outpouring of support from the hospitality industry when Atlanta chef Ryan Hidinger was diagnosed with last stage cancer in December 2012. From helping with the cost of living expenses to funeral arrangements, TGK provides crisis grants to members of Atlanta’s restaurant community facing unanticipated hardship who reside in the metropolitan Atlanta region.
Funding for the sustainability of TGK comes from a variety of sources including direct beneficiary events, personal donations and profits from a one-of-a-kind platform generated by Staplehouse Restaurant, founded by Ryan and Jen Hidinger, and under construction on Edgewood Avenue in the Old 4th Ward neighborhood with Chef Ryan Smith (formerly of Empire State South) at the helm.
The Giving Kitchen is led by an Executive Director and an 11 member Board consisting of individuals involved in the hospitality, education, not-for-profit and sports and entertainment sectors.
TGK is accepting grant requests from individuals in the restaurant industry for themselves, another member of the industry or an immediate dependent (spouse, child) as listed on tax returns. Requests will be considered on the basis of two criteria: Crisis Grants and Matching Grants as listed below. Requests will be processed and reviewed promptly with funding being allocated immediately thereafter.
The Crisis Grant requires applicants to meet very specific criteria in order to qualify for financial assistance in the areas of basic living expenses (i.e. rent, utilities, etc.), travel costs associated with receiving or giving care for applicants or their immediate families, and funeral arrangements. Consideration for a Crisis Grant will only be applied if the applicant or intended recipient is subject to an unforeseen circumstance such as illness, injury or natural disaster. For a Direct Grant linked to both basic living expenses and funeral arrangements, applicant must provide updated status documentation supplied by their employer, physician, landlord/lender and insurance company, respectively.
While we develop and implement our application process, TGK will consider grants to individuals who are unable to pay basic living expenses as a direct result of unforeseen circumstances (including but not limited to injury, illness, death, natural disaster, fire, or housing emergency). Applicants must provide employment verification, fill out a very basic financial summary, and submit documentation of actual expenses. Eligible expenses include: rent or mortgage; utilities (electric, gas, water/sewer); travel or equipment for medical care; expenses related to moving to a new residence in the case of natural disaster, fire or other housing emergency). Payments will not be made directly to grantees; expenses will be paid directly to vendors. Grants will only be awarded to applicants who currently (or at the time of injury or illness) work(ed) at least half-time for a full-service restaurant that operates in the Atlanta area.
Matching Grants may be used to fund expenses not within the conditions established for a Crisis Grant (i.e. non-essential living expenses, transportation needs, etc). Matching Grants provide an opportunity for TGK to work directly with the applicants’ direct associates or other members of the restaurant industry to essentially collect/raise money to help the intended recipient. TGK will match all funds raised on behalf of an applicant. While a Matching Grant require less verification than a Crisis Grant, guidelines also exist for this program, and a narrative explanation of the request is expected with each application.