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The LEE Initiative, Southern Restaurants for Racial Justice, and HEINZ will award grants in the amount of $15,000 to $25,000 each to Black-owned food businesses

The Lee Initiative and Southern Restaurants for Racial Justice launch second year of grants

The non-profit will provide over $1 million in grants to Black-owned food businesses around the country

 The LEE Initiative, in partnership with Southern Restaurants for Racial Justice and HEINZ, announces a second year of grants for Black-owned food businesses across the country.
“I really want to make sure that these Black-owned restaurants are seen, heard, and can build these legacy businesses. From the heart, I want to make sure they are sustainable and that we’re offering what they need.” - Cheryl Day, Founder of Southern Restaurants for Racial Justice.
The LEE Initiative, Southern Restaurants for Racial Justice, and HEINZ will award grants in the amount of $15,000 to $25,000 each to Black-owned food businesses – both existing and startups. In addition to the monetary awards, this year’s grants for new Black-owned food businesses will include a continuing education component for grantees with seminars featuring food-industry veterans. The seminars will feature timely and relevant topics such as commercial leases, small business accounting, and employee training and retention.
“We are thrilled to have the opportunity to further our commitment to foster a more diverse and equitable restaurant industry in partnership with the LEE Initiative and SRRJ,” said Megan Lang, director of brand communications, HEINZ. “It is an honor to play a role in preserving the legacy of these restaurants, and we look forward to continuing our mission to help celebrate and preserve the legacy of Black food and culinary culture over the long term.”
In 2021, this program awarded a total of $1,136,000 in grants to 72 Black-owned food businesses and worked with partners to create The Black Kitchen Initiative, an award-winning podcast series hosted by Adrian Miller.
Applications for this year’s grants open on July 7 at and will be open through August 7. Recipients will be notified in late August and announced in September.
About The LEE Initiative
Lindsey Ofcacek and Edward Lee founded The LEE Initiative in 2017 in response to the #MeToo movement. The LEE Initiative creates and implements programs to address issues of diversity and equity in the restaurant industry, always with a focus on increasing opportunities for employment and helping to make the restaurant industry more sustainable. The LEE Initiative's Women Culinary and Spirits Program, currently in its fifth year, provides participants with one-on-one externships with successful women chef-owners in the food and beverage space along with other leadership training, networking opportunities and a continuing education series focused on intensive skills training.  The McAtee Community and Training Kitchen supports local high school culinary arts programs and post-secondary culinary education. For more information visit the website.
About Chef Edward Lee
Chef Edward Lee is the chef/owner of 610 Magnolia in Louisville, KY and culinary director for Succotash in National Harbor, Maryland, and in Washington, DC.  He has received multiple finalist nominations for the James Beard Foundation Awards Best Chef: Southeast.  He appears frequently in print and television and was recently nominated for a daytime Emmy for his role as host of the Emmy-winning series, The Mind of Chef on PBS.  Lee won a James Beard Foundation Award for Writing for his book Buttermilk Graffiti: A Chef’s Journey to Discover America’s New Melting Pot Cuisine (Artisan Books, April 2018).  He also authored Smoke & Pickles: Recipes and Stories from a New Southern Kitchen (Artisan Books, May 2013). His documentary film, Fermented, follows him around the world as he explores the rich culinary and cultural traditions of fermented food. For more information on Chef Edward Lee, please follow him on Twitter or Instagram or visit
About The Kraft Heinz Company
We are driving transformation at The Kraft Heinz Company (Nasdaq: KHC), inspired by our Purpose, Let's Make Life Delicious. Consumers are at the center of everything we do. With 2021 net sales of approximately $26 billion, we are committed to growing our iconic and emerging food and beverage brands on a global scale. We leverage our scale and agility to unleash the full power of Kraft Heinz across a portfolio of six consumer-driven product platforms. As global citizens, we're dedicated to making a sustainable, ethical impact while helping feed the world in healthy, responsible ways. Learn more about our journey by visiting or following us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

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