September is just around the corner, which means it is time to start gearing up for this year’s Dine Out For No Kid Hungry™ (formally known as the Great American Dine Out).
This year’s event will be September 18-24.
With childhood obesity being such a heavily discussed topic lately, we can’t forget the over 17 million children who face hunger each day in America.
Dine Out For No Kid Hungry™ is a national event and a great way for both restaurants and diners to combat child hunger together. It is a part of Share Our Strength’s national campaign to end childhood hunger in America.
Last year, over 4000 restaurants helped to raise over $1.5 million.
This year, Share Our Strength’s Senior Manager of Communications, Catherine Puzo, says their goal is to raise over $3 million by engaging 5000 restaurants around the country.
“Restaurants that have participated in the past tell us that participating in Dine Out For No Kid Hungry—especially when they register early enough to plan a well-thought promotion around it, and market it to their customers—engages employees around a relevant cause, connects them to their community, and, depending on the type of promotion developed, increases sales,” she says.
Puzo also mentions many restaurants were successful in gaining repeat business by using bounce back coupons. So even though we’re still in July, now is the time to sign up and start planning.
Restaurants participating, or interested in participating, in this year’s Dine Out For No Kid Hungry™ can go here to learn how to become involved. They also provide detailed information for both multi-unit or independently owned establishments.
When planning, they advise restaurants to make a tangible goal such as a specific dollar amount, number of redeemed coupons or sales from the promotion. As Puzo said, bounce back coupons have been a great way previous participants have benefited.
They also recommend restaurants use both social and traditional media to help promote and educate both employees and customers.
“Invite them to be a part of the solution, too, by supporting your efforts,” they say—followed by an extensive list of ideas to get a restaurant started, shown on this page. There is also a Participant Resource Center, so your restaurant will not be left in the dark and you will have everything you need.
In-store materials will be available to order starting August 1.
Donations from Dine Out For No Kid Hungry™ have helped provide meals of nutritional value for after school programs, feed kids lunch during the summer, provide more access to school breakfast, help families meet nutritional needs and expand access to programs such as SNAP (food stamps) and WIC (the Women, Infants and Children program). It has also helped teach families how to provide healthy and tasty food while on a limited budget.
If you are looking for other ways to participate, you can become a sponsor or donate to the cause. Some of this year’s national sponsors include Sysco, American Express, Ecolab, USA Today and the National Restaurant Association.