Nonprofit gives grocery money to sustain striking TV/film writers

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The Groceries for Writers fund is helping keep early-career writers on the picket line by paying for their food. Photo by Shutterstock.

Hollywood writers have been picketing for nearly four weeks. Sustaining a strike of this length can be challenging, especially for those who aren’t getting paid. That’s why Humanitas, a Santa Monica-based nonprofit that focuses on empowering film and television writers, has been distributing grocery cards to some writers who need a little extra help. 

Michelle Franke, executive director of the organization, says as soon as the strike began, her staff immediately sprung into action to distribute snacks and other supplies on the front lines. Then a funding boost made it possible for them to do more. 

“Our staff knew that it was going to be really important to pivot towards something more substantial to support both individuals and families with this donation that we received,” she says. “So we made the decision to distribute grocery gift cards to early career WGA member writers, as they stand for fair pay and protections in the workplace.”

Franke says many young writers were already struggling to make ends meet, which is part of why they’re striking in the first place. The extra cash is meant to tide folks over so that they can keep pushing for better working conditions. 

“We have folks who are in early career positions right now, who are facing food insecurity, we have people on food stamps. We…have heard more from folks who are struggling to feed their families, and many households where both partners are out of work as well,” she says. “These days are long, they're exhausting. And we want to make sure that they have food in them that they feel well nourished, so that they're able to stay really focused on this fight.”

Writers can apply for the cards, which are distributed on a rolling basis, via an online application. Those looking to support the fund can also donate on the Humanitas website.