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Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign got a huge boost recently when our fabulous longstanding partners, the National Restaurant Association, committed to enhanced long-term support for our campaign.

At the Association’s Leadership Affairs Conference Gala on April 17th, National Restaurant Association President and CEO Dawn Sweeney announced that the organization’s commitment to work together with Share Our Strength to triple the funds raised for Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign through 2013. Over the next two years alone, the National Restaurant Association will help us raise an incremental $5 million to end childhood hunger in the United States.

“The restaurant industry has always been committed to fighting hunger and improving the well-being of our nation’s children,” said Sweeney. “America’s restaurants are cornerstones of local communities—more than nine out of 10 restaurants are actively involved in charitable causes, including the No Kid Hungry campaign.”

How will the National Restaurant Association help us end childhood hunger? Through increased outreach to its member restaurants, the Association intends to increase restaurant participation in the Dine Out For No Kid Hungry campaign, of which the Association has been a longtime supporter. Every September, thousands of restaurants across the U.S. employ creative fundraising techniques to engage their employees and customers in the No Kid Hungry campaign.

“Dine Out For No Kid Hungry is a flexible program that can be customized for any restaurant, from national and regional multi-unit companies, to independently operated local restaurants, and franchised establishments,” added Sweeney. “The program offers participation options beyond just writing a check, or hosting a fundraising dinner. It gives every employee a part to play, and invites patrons to join in as well.”

A recent National Restaurant Association report highlights that the industry’s combined charitable contributions come close to $3 billion annually in resources, fundraising and in-kind services. And, of course, restaurants and chefs have long been the backbone of Share Our Strength: Since our inception in 1984, Share Our Strength has raised more than $300 million to fight childhood hunger, and restaurants and their chefs have helped raise nearly one-third of that total – roughly $100 million — to help us make sure no child goes hungry.

We are incredibly grateful for the continued support of the NRA. The generosity of the restaurant industry has amazed us over the years. Together we will end childhood hunger in America.

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