Portion of Salinas restaurants' proceeds goes to Food Bank
By DAVE NORDSTRAND
The Salinas Californian
Many Salinas area restaurants on Thursday will set aside 10 percent of the day's proceeds to donate to the Food Bank for Monterey County.
That means the 50,000 people who monthly get help from food banks in the county will benefit from the program, called Dining Out Helping Out.
"At breakfast, lunch and dinner at local restaurants, customers can turn their dining out experience into a way to help the less fortunate," said Melissa Hartman, development director for the Food Bank for Monterey County.
In 2006, the Food Bank distributed 6 million pounds of food through 65 agencies. Many of its clients have children.
Proceeds from the Dining Out Helping Out event will go far in helping the food bank effort, said Leslie Sunny, executive director.
Every dollar raised equals $8 worth of food, she said.
"The restaurants will donate money, and the food bank will use the money to support ongoing programs," Sunny said.
The food bank is really a vast warehouse. It collects and stores large amounts of foods, which are then broken down and distributed through agencies, many of them faith-based.
"So we're urging people to eat out that day," Sunny said.
Hartman calls Dining Out Helping Out "a charitable consciousness-raising event."
Not only will those who need food benefit, but the restaurants will also, Hartman said.
"It will increase their midweek patronage, a time when restaurant receipts are down on average," she said.