Share Our Strength has awarded a private tour of Food Network's TV studios in New York City to three restaurants--Mat & Naddie’s, Corner Bakery Café and The Melting Pot--that all raised funds for the 2009 Great American Dine Out to help end childhood hunger in America.
(l to r) Dawn Sweeney, president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association; and Debbie Shore, co-founder and associate director of Share Our Strength, select the winners

Stephen Schwarz, chef/owner of Mat & Naddie's in New Orleans; Ric Scicchitano, senior vice president of food and beverage at Corner Bakery Café, Dallas; and Jim Materese, franchise owner of The Melting Pot in Buffalo, N.Y., will travel to New York for an overnight stay and a tour of Food Network's studios, scheduled for Jan. 26. The tour, sponsored by the National Restaurant Association (NRA), includes lunch with executives from Food Network, Share Our Strength and the NRA. Share Our Strength selected the winners at random out of entries from more than 1,800 restaurants that sent funds within two months of the Great American Dine Out.

"More than 3,500 restaurants participated in this year's Great American Dine Out, nearly 750 of them through the National Restaurant Association's sponsorship," said Debbie Shore, co-founder and associate director of Share Our Strength, in a statement. "We’re grateful to the National Restaurant Association and Food Network for providing this tour as one way for us to thank those restaurants that sent us their contributions early."