Last year, Alice and Caron organized this amazing fundraiser for the San Diego Food Bank’s Food 4 Kids program. The program provides hungry elementary school children with a backpack full of kid-friendly food every Friday. These kids need this program because, while they qualify for free or reduced-cost meals at school, they may not have adequate food on the weekends. In 2008-2009, the program was only available to 200 children throughout eight San Diego County schools. They are now able to serve 550 children in 19 schools and are hoping to expand to 850 kids this year.
This year’s fundraiser is much like last year’s, with multiple ways you can help:
- Monetary Fundraiser: A fundraising site has been set up on firstgiving.com/food4kids to allow interested individuals to make monetary donations, add comments and keep track of the fundraiser’s progress. All donors are eligible for prizes donated by local restaurants and businesses which will be awarded by random drawing at the end of the event. A paltry $6.00 per week funds one child, and a donation of $250.00 will fund a backpack for a child for the entire 36 week school year.
- Backpack and Food Drive on August 21 at Little Italy Mercato: On August 21, a food and backpack drive will be held at the Little Italy Mercato. Members of the community are asked to bring neutral backpacks (as in no logos and preferably black or red) and kid-friendly non-perishable foods (such as applesauce, cereal, fruit cups, mac ‘n cheese, pretzels, etc., and other healthful foods) to the Little Italy Mercato between 9 AM and 1 PM, where Food 4 Kids volunteers and Food Bank personnel will be on hand to collect them.
- Dollar-a-Dish Program: August 1 – August 31: A “Dollar-a-Dish” event is set to run throughout the month of August at participating restaurants. These restaurants will select one of their best selling menu items and will contribute $1 to the Food 4 Kids program for every order of that dish sold during the month of August. At present, 30 restaurants have signed on to participate including: Alchemy, Bencotto, Café Chloe, Cosmopolitan Restaurant, Cowboy Star, Croce’s, Cucina Urbana, Dining Details (Catering,) Gaglione Brothers, George’s at the Cove, Hilton Garden Inn – Del Mar, JRDN, JSix, Kensington Grill, Lotsa Pasta, Nine-Ten, O’Brothers, Pizza Fusion, Playa Grill, Ritual Tavern, Royal India, Sessions Public, Soleluna Café, SoNo Trading Company, Starlite, Stingaree, Terra, The Red Door, Urban Solace and Zenbu.
I don’t know if I’ll be able to wrangle up a raffle prize and we’re going to be out of town the weekend of the Backpack Drive, but you can bet I’m going to get out and try some of those Dollar-a-Dish restaurants! It’s a really great program and it benefits so many kids in San Diego. You never know who might need help, and the thought of a child going hungry over a weekend is heartbreaking.