STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- Eating for the hungry: This simple equation drives "Dine Out Against Hunger" -- an annual event that has come to define the generosity and compassion of Staten Islanders, by bringing people out to local restaurants that in turn donate to charity.
Nearly 150 restaurants -- from Tottenville to Tompkinsville, with menus ranging from fast fare to haute cuisine -- will participate in Dine Out Against Hunger on Thursday.
Click here for a complete list of restaurants participating in the event.
Each restaurant will donate 20 percent of proceeds for the day to Project Hospitality, to bolster the not-for-profit organization's food pantries and soup kitchens.
"This is the opportunity to be grateful that we have food on our table, no matter what table that restaurant is in," said the Rev. Terry Troia, executive director of Project Hospitality, to several dozen volunteers and organizers gathered at Borough Hall for a kickoff reception. "People are making tough choices to put food on the table for their children, or a roof over their heads."
This year, with the pressures of the recession, the organization already has served some 600,000 meals and it is likely by the end of 2010, that number will be will double to 1.2 million -- the highest ever.
"We have seen people who never in their life considered going to a food pantry, now going to food pantries to survive. That's the reality of the economy," said state Sen. Diane Savino (D-Staten Island/Brooklyn). "Events like Dine Out are critically important. Thank you, Staten Island, for always reaching into your pockets, more and more, even when it's harder to do..."
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