Barrio Brewing Foundation Fund Pledges $25,000 To Help Employees of Local Restaurants and Bars

Earlier this year, Dennis and Tauna Arnold announced that they were giving 100 percent ownership of Barrio Brewing Company, the oldest craft brewery in Arizona, to their employees.

The Arnolds recently went one step further in supporting the Tucson community with the creation of the Barrio Brewing Foundation Fund, held at the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona, to provide assistance to Southern Arizona charities.

The Barrio Brewing Foundation Fund is donating $25,000 to Greater Tucson Leadership (GTL) to purchase five hundred (500) $50 grocery gift cards for employees of local restaurants and bars who have been impacted by recent COVID-19 related closures.  The Fund and GTL will work with the Tucson Metro Chamber to distribute the cards to area businesses.

“The toll that virus-related closures has taken on local restaurants and bars is unprecedented,” said Karen Arnold, a member of the Barrio Brewing Foundation Fund’s Advisory Board. “For people who make their living serving meals and beverages to all of us over the years to now be unable to afford those basic pleasures of life for themselves hits home hard. This is our way of giving back.”

Tucson Metro Chamber’s president and CEO, Amber Smith, said, “We understand how employers must feel defeated as they lay off their beloved staff. Providing this gift to those impacted employees takes a small burden off those employers and allows the displaced workers to help make ends meet in this challenging time.”

“The restaurant and service industry is so important to our community and our economy. COVID-19 has had an immediate and devastating impact on these small businesses,” said Kasey Hill, executive director of GTL. “Leadership is about service. We are grateful to be able to partner with the Barrio Brewing Foundation Fund and Tucson Metro Chamber in order to bring some relief to the people who serve us each and every day.”

The Barrio Brewing Foundation Fund was established in 2019 to support the most vulnerable individuals in our community. “The commitment that the Fund is making stands for a community that we love and its members in need,” said Dennis Arnold. “I started in the restaurant industry in 1974 here in Tucson and have enjoyed it immensely. To be able to give back to that community in a meaningful way is the least we could do as our family has enjoyed not only working in the trade but enjoying a lifetime of Tucson’s amazing food and beverage scene.”

The Fund is a donor-advised fund held at the Community Foundation for Southern Arizona. Grants are awarded to Southern Arizona-based charities and are, according to Fund representatives, “intended for people and projects that foster the purpose and goodwill of a community that has given us so much.”

To apply for the grocery gift cards, eligible businesses should email Adam Begody at abegody@tucsonchamber.org and include the name of the business and contact information.  Submissions will be accepted through Friday, April 10th.