L.A. mayor announces $800 stipends for food service workers

One block of Avenida de la Playa is closed to vehicular traffic for outdoor dining.
(Elisabeth Frausto)

Los Angeles will offer a one-time $800 stipend to employees who work in food service industries, including restaurants, breweries and food stands, Mayor Eric Garcetti said Wednesday.

The Secure Emergency Relief for Vulnerable Employees, or SERVE, initiative will give 4,000 workers the cash using money from the nonprofit Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles, Garcetti said in an evening briefing. The news comes as the number of Californians hospitalized with the coronavirus reached more than 8,000 and 40 more deaths were reported in L.A. County on Wednesday, leading to restrictions on outdoor dining.

Garcetti said 4 of every 10 employees in the food service industry have lost their jobs this year.


“With outdoor dining suspended at our restaurants, the losses suffered by the industry’s workers and business owners are mounting,” Garcetti said. “I’ve heard the pain in the voices of our service workers and from our restaurant owners.”

Eligible residents must be 18 or older and have 2019 income of $58,450 or less. Applications open Monday and the link to apply will be available on the SERVE initiative website.