Holiday giving can last all year

Here are some resources for any restaurants and foodservice operators out there who’d like to get involved with a charity. I talked to several nonprofits that team up with restaurants – here is the info –

The Salvation Army accepts food service equipment, appliances and food prep supplies for their senior centers, adult day cares and other community programs. Just use the website directory to locate a S.A. center in your area. They also accept monetary donations by phone, or you can call 1-800-SA-TRUCK (1-800-728-7825) to schedule a pickup.

Action Against Hunger is an international organization that delivers programs in some 40 countries, specializing in emergency situations of war, conflict, and natural disasters and longer-term assistance to people in distress.

Database Manager Jake Dahlman, who is also in charge of donor stewardship, said they cannot accept donations of food or equipment, but that many restaurants give back to their organization by offering a portion of their proceeds. For instance, Cafe’ Joul in New York City donates $1 from each sale of one best-selling starter and one best-selling dessert.

Anyone interested in making a donation can do so via the website, or they may contact Dahlman directly via email.

Feeding America is the nation’s leading domestic hunger-relief charity. According to the website, the organization’s mission is to feed America’s hungry through a nationwide network of member food banks and to engage the country in the fight to end hunger.

Feeding America’s Hungry Children is involved in a many food programs, including distributing emergency food boxes during the holidays, providing nutritious, vitamin-rich, fresh fruits and vegetables and helping underfed children through member agency programs.

The Meals on Wheels Association of America (MOWAA) is the oldest and largest organization in the United States representing those who provide meal services to people in need.

In addition to vehicles and monetary contributions, the organization also has a tremendous need for cookware and kitchen equipment to prepare the meals they provide. Monetary donations can be made via the website, and inquiries can be made by locating one of the 5,000 regional program offices nationwide or contact MOWAA via Email.

Another way that restaurants get involved with charities is by offering free gift cards. Jeanette Sawi, owner of Santorini Greek Kitchen in Indianapolis, said they partner with a number of local organizations including Indiana Youth Group and Second Helpings.

Central Restaurant Products has a Knowledge Base of resources for restaurants, including information on how to get involved with a local or national charity organization. Please visit CentralRestaurant.com/givingback for details.

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