Share Our Strength is hosting the second in a series of Great American Dine Out webinars on June 23 from 3 to 3:30 p.m. EDT, to provide strategies and ideas for restaurant operators who want to participate in the dine out for charity, which takes place from Sept. 19 to 25. Ray Blanchette and Robin Ahearn, CEO and senior vice president of marketing, respectively, of Ignite Restaurant Group, will lead the discussion.

The Great American Dine Out is a week-long, nationwide event in which participating restaurants donate a portion of proceeds to help end childhood hunger in America. It is a flexible program, meaning operators can decide how they want to implement and promote it.

Registration is open to operators of every type of foodservice establishment. Register at
Hundreds of companies that exhibited at the 2010 National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show last month donated enough surplus food from the event for nearly 52,000 meals through the Greater Chicago Food Depository (GCFD). The NRA and GCFD have partnered to facilitate food donations from the show for more than 20 years.

NRA Show 2010 exhibitors donated a total of 68,962 pounds of high-quality food products, which is the equivalent of 51,721 meals for Chicago-area individuals in need. The donated food was distributed through a network of more than 600 qualified GCFD member agencies including pantries, soup kitchens, shelters, day care centers and senior living facilities.

"The support of the National Restaurant Association helps us provide food for thousands of men, women and children," said Kate Maehr, executive director of the Greater Chicago Food Depository, in a statement. "Our statistics show that we now serve 678,000 people in Cook County every year. We can respond to heightened demand because of partners like the National Restaurant Association."

The Greater Chicago Food Depository, Chicago’s food bank, is a nonprofit food distribution and training center providing food for hungry people while striving to end hunger in our community. For more information, visit