New Fund to Help Texas Hospitality Workers Affected by Freeze — Updated
[The] Texas Winter Storm Relief Fund is to provide financial assistance to industry workers in Texas that have been dealt yet another blow with the winter storms that have not only shut down restaurants (again) and frozen crops but, in many cases, also damaged their homes.
One of the first major contributors to the fund is electricity trader Adam Sinn. An owner of several micro-power plants, Sinn is donating $400,000 to the fund. He believes this reflects his financial gains from the Texas power grid failure, since afterward ERCOT drastically raised rates per kilowatt hour.
“I understand the grid operators didn’t want to experience another wave of blackouts on Friday morning – their forecasts had their reserve margins too tight and I am sure they were being cautious – but it’s not right for generators to experience a huge windfall while Texans endured such unnecessary hardship,” said Sinn via a press release. “This is why I’m donating my profits from my plants, from Thursday at noon until Friday morning when ERCOT ended the price adder, to Southern Smoke. I encourage anyone who profited excessively to find a charity that helps Texans in need and write that check. I think it’s the right thing to do, and I hope other generation companies follow my lead.”
“I’m so grateful to Adam for stepping up and supporting Southern Smoke,” said Chris Shepherd, co-founder of Southern Smoke. “This incredible donation will help so many in our industry get through this crisis. Since COVID-19 began, we’ve granted more than $5 million to more than 2,400 people, and this fund will help us continue the work as a safety net to our industry and take care of our own.”
Phaedra Cook has written about Houston’s restaurant and bar scene since 2010. She was a regular contributor to My Table magazine (now closed) and was the lead restaurant critic for the Houston Press for two years, eventually being promoted to food editor. Cook founded Houston Food Finder in November 2016 and has been its editor and publisher ever since.