Want to fight hunger in Chapel Hill? If so, you can dine in or take out a meal from one of 105 local eateries participating in RSVVP today - and take care of your own hunger in the process.
Many local restaurants will donate 10 percent of their proceeds today to the Inter-Faith Council in Chapel Hill
during the 12th annual Restaurants Sharing V (5) plus V (5) Percent fund-raising event.
Irene Briggaman, volunteer chairwoman for RSVVP, said the program benefits both restaurant owners and the IFC.
"It's a win-win situation," she said. "Restaurants get more visitors on a slow day and the Inter-Faith Council can finance hunger prevention."
Paul McGinley, a member of the IFC, said last year the IFC received more than $18,600 from the program and has raised $260,000 since the fund-raiser's inception. McGinley said this year he expects participating restaurants to give more than $20,000.
"All of the proceeds go directly toward our programs," he said. "None of the money goes to any administrative costs."
But Briggaman said money donations have not been the only thing that has grown. She said the number of participants grows larger every year. In 1989, the first year of the program, only 48 restaurants participated. Since then, that figure has more than doubled.
"It just seems to get more popular," she said. "No (restaurant) wants to be left out."
Chris Ijames, manager of Spanky's Restaurant, located on the corner of Franklin and Columbia streets, said the restaurant has participated every year since the program's beginning. He said in the past many patrons have visited the restaurant because of Spanky's participation in the fund-raiser.
"Business will be much busier than a typical Tuesday," he said. "We expect to raise $350 to $400 (for the cause)."
And despite the extra business, Ijames said his staff is just looking forward to the opportunity to contribute to hunger prevention in Chapel Hill.
"We try to do all we can to help causes in the community," he said. "I think all the restaurants on Franklin Street just want to do their part."
In addition, the Food Bank of North Carolina in Raleigh and St. Philip's Community Kitchen in Durham have organized similar events in Raleigh and Durham.
Briggaman said hunger prevention is an ongoing process and should not just be addressed once a year.
"You can't solve the problem," she said. "Feeding the hungry is an everyday job."
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