$11,458,513
funds distributed since 2015
Who we help
Southern Smoke serves a population as diverse as the industry.

As long as a person in need has worked in the industry for at least six months at 30+ hours/week, they are eligible to apply for support. The information below reflects the overarching demographics of fund awardees from our founding through today. What isn’t shown is each person’s story. To hear firsthand how donations have helped individuals, follow the smoke to our About page.

Impact map
Distribution of funds
2015
October
$181,000
National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Houston Chapter, In honor of Antonio Gianola, Houston sommelier living with MS
2016
November
$282,000
National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Houston Chapter, In honor of Antonio Gianola, Houston sommelier living with MS
2017
November
$5,000
Napa and Sonoma County Fire Relief, In honor of the wine growers in Napa and Sonoma who suffered from tragic fires.
October
$501,000
Hurricane Harvey Relief, Assistance for 139 members of the food and beverage industry affected by Hurricane Harvey.
$10,000
Legacy Community Health, In honor of their partnership with Southern Smoke Festival 2017 and their distribution of funds to 139 people affected by Hurricane Harvey.
2018
October
$116,522
September
$10,000
Hurricane Florence Relief, In honor of Vivian Howard and Sam Jones.
$200,000
National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Houston Chapter, In honor of Antonio Gianola, Houston sommelier living with MS
April
$10,000
Gulf Seafood Foundation’s Helping Hands Effort, Provides work gloves to Gulf fishermen affected by Hurricane Harvey and Irma.
2019
December
$41,310
November
$25,658
October
$100,000
National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Houston Chapter In honor of Antonio Gianola, Houston sommelier living with MS
$48,896
August
$10,000
July
$9,462
June
$10,000
May
$30,784
April
$2,260
March
$5,000
B’s Cracklin’ Barbeque, Provides funds to help cover staff payroll following a fire.
$6,500
February
$8,635
2020
December
$284,317
November
$169,755
October
$229,400
September
$282,885
August
$200,225
July
$334,639
June
$985,984
May
$677,782
April
$1,138,047
March
$150,377
February
$3,916
January
$24,486
2021
December
$142,780
November
$91,140
October
$112,655
September
$241,634
August
$174,470
July
$175,055
June
$386,430
May
$227,937
April
$275,610
March
$625,523
February
$691,426
January
$256,226
2022
December
$50,550
November
$96,070
October
$117,605
September
$54,910
August
$96,710
July
$46,870
June
$39,410
May
$43,910
April
$33,130
March
$57,600
February
$45,520
January
$174,815
2023
December
$73,485
November
$142,860
October
$50,135
September
$140,470
August
$218,220
July
$60,355
June
$43,830
May
$80,280
April
$71,270
March
$75,325
February
$52,850
January
$53,655
2024
February
$80,240
January
$100,926
Covid-19 giving

When COVID-19 became an undeniable threat to public health in March 2020, restaurants across the country shut down, forcing millions into sudden unemployment.

The Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation (RWCF) was one of the very first organizations to contact Southern Smoke in solidarity and partnership. Since then, RWCF has raised and donated $3,700,000 to Southern Smoke, making it the largest organizational contributor to the Emergency Relief Fund, and helping thousands of F&B workers in crisis: comprising almost two-thirds of our overall grant dollars awarded for 2020.

Southern Smoke is overwhelmed with gratitude to RWCF and all other supporters, large and small, as we could absolutely not have helped the thousands of grantees we have without these innumerable fundraising efforts and this unfettered generosity. We are also infinitely thankful to have been entrusted with these dollars and to the thousands of donors who had faith that we would be wise stewards with their donations.

March 11, 2020–March 11, 2021:
All covid donors

$1 MILLION & ABOVE

Restaurant Workers’ Community Foundation

Anonymous Donors (Chicago Restaurant Workers Relief Fund)

David Chang via Who Wants to be a Millionaire

$500,000 — $999,000

Tito’s Handmade Vodka

$250,000 — $499,000

Adam Clark Sinn

$100,000 — $249,000

A Night for Austin via Austin Community Foundation

DIAGEO

Emeril Lagasse Foundation

Hair Food via Proctor & Gamble

Hot Luck LLC

DoorDash

Republic National Distributing Company

Sazerac AP

YETI

Anonymous Donor

$50,000 — $99,000

Hourglass Wine Company

Houston Texans Foundation

Houston Area Lexus Dealers

Stand with Austin via Austin Community Foundation

The Wine & Food Foundation of Texas

Please also note our 2020 year-end report, comprising where and to whom these dollars have been distributed thus far, while highlighting our newly created programs and accomplishments over the last year.