The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Saturday January 22nd

RSVVP Restaurant Patrons Combat Hunger

Eating out became a form of community service Tuesday as residents flocked to their favorite eateries in the name of charity.

Diners chose from the 105 restaurants throughout the Chapel Hill and Carrboro area that participated in the Inter-Faith Council's Restaurants Sharing V (5) plus V (5) Percent hunger-relief program.

The restaurants' participation meant they would contribute 10 percent of their gross receipts from Tuesday's sales to the IFC to combat hunger.

Many restaurants experienced a surge in business. "I know we're packed because of RSVVP," said Matthew Buchanan, general manager of Carolina Coffee Shop on Franklin Street, from the bar of his bustling restaurant. "It's definitely making a difference."

David Bacon, owner of Pyewacket Restaurant, said the event increased his business as well.

"RSVVP is definitely a motivating factor," he said. "I'd say 50 percent of the people coming in are aware of it."

Diner George Jackson, a UNC graduate student, said he hoped to make a difference. He lunched at Carolina Coffee Shop on Tuesday because of the restaurant's participation in RSVVP.

"I definitely picked this restaurant because of its participation," he said. "I know the good work the Inter-Faith Council does, and I want to support that. It's nice that they make it easy to help."

Janet James and Libby Coombs of Pittsboro said they also came out for lunch at Carolina Coffee Shop because of RSVVP. "We came out because of this -RSVVP is the reason we chose this place," Coombs said. "It's a great idea."

Bacon said RSVVP was a great idea that reached many people. He also said he thought the IFC's tireless efforts were a major source of the event's success.

"I think the promotion for it is excellent," Bacon said. "They go early on to the networks and the newspapers, and they're constantly reminding people weeks in advance.

"We've been doing RSVVP for over 10 years," he said. "It certainly has gotten bigger and better."

Leila Dillon, finance director of the IFC, said the event's success benefited a large number of people.

"Part of the funds will go to the Inter-Faith Council Community House kitchen in Chapel Hill," she said. "They served 76,000 meals last year."

The remainder of the funds generated by RSVVP will go to the IFC's Crisis Intervention in Carrboro, Dillon said.

"At Crisis Intervention they see daily between 15 and 20 families or individuals who are in crisis," she said. "Many times it's only food that they need."

Dillon said this was an important time of year for the IFC's efforts to fight hunger, and that other volunteer efforts supplemented RSVVP.

For example, Dillon said the recent food drive of the UNC Chapter of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity was very important to the IFC.

"We just received the count on Lambda Chi Alpha's food drive," she said. "They donated 5,440 pounds of food last week. It's a real effort - that's how our Carrboro pantry gets stocked."

Dillon said she participated in RSVVP and was impressed by the turnout.

"I went out for breakfast and lunch, and the restaurants I visited were packed," she said. "It was standing-room-only."

And Dillon said this could be the biggest year yet.

"I hope we can top last year's total. We do have 105 restaurants."

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