Support: Dine In, Help Out
Turn your standard summer get-together into a meaningful evening with a few simple steps by joining the Dine In, Help Out movement.
An evening out to dinner is one of those little indulgences that we may take for granted. Oh, sure, finding the time, and the sitter, and a menu you both like ‘¦ that all can take a little time. But paying the bill at the end of the meal we can often handle.
For countless families in our area, the scene is quite different. The bill is too steep at the grocery store, let alone a restaurant. Food stamps and community pantry contributions may still not cut it. With young children to feed, each meal of healthy food is a blessing.
This summer, we invite you to join us and others across the Philadelphia area for Dine In, Help Out, a program that benefits the St. Christopher’s Foundation for Children and its Farm to Families initiative.
The premise is quite simple. Instead of heading out to dinner, stay home. Invite over some friends, put on the music, or fire up the grill. Make it a pot-luck, cook up the overflow from your backyard garden, or pick a fun theme like Mexican or Hawaiian. Above all, ask your guests to take the money they would have spent on a restaurant meal and donate it to Farms to Families. Contributions will help the foundation bring local, healthy food and produce into North Philadelphia, where it will help nourish and encourage hungry families.
“It’s overwhelming how many people just got it and wanted to help and be part of the solution,” says Jan Shaeffer, executive director of the St. Christopher’s Foundation for Children, of 2011’s inaugural season. “A friend of mine hosted a party, and people there were really talking about what the issues were. The dialogue was we have so much goodness, so much plenitude. And we feel a connection to those who don’t have all this.”
Head to the program’s website to learn more about the charity and the cause. You can also find out how you can set up a donation website for your guests, or download credit card donation sheets to have on hand at your party, plus print recipes from notable Philly chefs to make your meal memorable.
We wanted to help your planning, too, so we’ve created an invitation you can download. Just fill in the blanks (use Adobe Reader or print and fill in by hand) and kick off your event with style. (Click here to download the PDF.)
No matter if you go for simple or soiree, Schaeffer reminds would-be hosts how much of a difference their evening will make. “The impact you make is big,” she says. “Get creative, and have fun with it.”
Spending less never meant so much.
Photo by Katie McMenamin