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Guy Fieri launches relief fund for laid-off restaurant workers

Guy Fieri is stepping up to help restaurants survive during the coronavirus pandemic and has launched a relief fund for laid-off restaurant workers, according to Food & Wine Magazine.

Fieri, a Santa Rosa resident, has partnered with the National Restaurant Association's Educational Fund to dole out $500 grants through its Restaurant Employee Relief Program. The one-time grants became available to unemployed restaurant workers on Thursday.

So far, Fieri has raised $8.3 million for the fund by sending video messages requesting donations to the CEOs of large corporations, such as PepsiCo and UberEats.

"I won't stop until we have $100 million," he told Food & Wine. "And if that doesn't work, I'm asking for consideration, for more connections to other money, anything that can help the situation."

Fieri, who provided meals for first responders during the Tubbs and Kincade fires, is also figuring out how to film "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives" on Zoom, the popular video service. He canceled trips to film in Albuquerque and Hawaii, and hopes new shows will help restaurants providing takeout and delivery stay afloat.

"It helps the restaurants, it helps the network, and it keeps my people working, even if it's no Albuquerque," he said to Food & Wine.

For now, Fieri is quarantining with his eldest son and several ranch hands on his Santa Rosa property. He doesn't plan to join the list of celebrities creating videos asking people to stay home or wash their hands, but he did tell Food & Wine he's worried about his dad, who beat pancreatic cancer in 2019.

"I'm no scientist and no doctor, but this worries me on every level," he said.

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