Discover launches #EatItForward campaign to give $5 million to Black-owned restaurants

200 eateries will receive $25,000 to help offset issues brought on by the coronavirus pandemic

Discover #EatItForward

Discover announced a social media campaign to give $5 million to Black-owned restaurant businesses following COVID-19 financial distress.

Two hundred eateries will receive $25,000 to help offset issues brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

READ MORE: theGrio’s ‘Staying In Business’ explores Black restaurants facing COVID-19

Rather than have companies apply for the available funds, the #EatItForward campaign counts on restaurant patrons are able to nominate their favorite diners. The final companies will be selected in November 2020.

Anyone can visit Discover’s social media platforms and nominate their choice Black-owned restaurant. The 200 nominees to receive the money will be chosen at random.

“COVID-19 has wreaked havoc on businesses across the United States, and we want to help effect positive change by offering financial support to Black-owned restaurants, a segment of the economy that has been disproportionately impacted during this pandemic,” says Julie Loeger, Discover Executive Vice President and President of U.S. Cards in a provided statement.

Using Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, customers and owners can submit their choices. The digital banking and payment services company took the social media route to not only support Black businesses financially, but also to create awareness of Black-owned restaurants for hungry people in search of a good meal.

To submit, those interested can tweet their chosen contender with Discover’s handle and appropriate hashtags. Restaurants can also be proposed in the financial institutions’ Facebook comments on the official #EatItForward post or by uploading a photo to Instagram.

“Black-owned restaurants can nominate themselves for these awards on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, as well! And we hope they do!” says Kelly Megel, vice president of brand communication to theGrio in an email statement. “Another benefit of this program, besides the opportunity for $25,000 is that by sharing and tagging various Black-owned restaurants, it will help create awareness for some of these amazing places to eat. We hope the Eat it Forward initiative will be a way for Black-owned restaurants to promote themselves on social media, and the program hashtag – #EatitForward – will be an ongoing resource for consumers to find and spread the word about restaurants in their area.” 

READ MORE: Petition asks Congress to protect Black-owned businesses during COVID-19

Kicking off the #EatItForward initiative three Black-owned establishments have already received the $25,000. Back In The Day Bakery located in Savannah, Georgia, Rodney Scott’s BBQ with locations in Birmingham, Alabama, and Charleston, South Carolina, and Post Office Pies, in Birmingham have all benefited thus far.

“The #EatItForward program runs through October, so we are currently focusing on making sure it delivers for Black-owned restaurant owners,” says Megel to theGrio via email. “But we continue to explore opportunities to help improve communities through donations to nonprofits committed to racial justice and volunteerism. At Discover, we are committed to creating a diverse, inclusive and equitable workplace for our employees, and the communities around us by focusing actions to help all individuals achieve brighter financial futures.” 

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