It's called the Dollar-a-Dish event, and it dishes up a great excuse to eat out at some of San Diego’s most popular restaurants this month.
More than 40 restaurants around the county have selected one of their best selling menu items and will be contributing $1 for every order sold in August to the Food 4 Kids program at the San Diego Food Bank.
The program feeds needy elementary school children on weekends and school holidays, when the school breakfast and lunch programs they rely on during the week are not available. It's now serving 525 deserving children in 19 schools and is looking to expand even further.
The Dollar-a-Dish program is part of the second annual grass-roots effort created by local food writers Caron Golden and Alice Robertson. In addition to the Dollar-a-Dish program, their efforts also includes an online monetary fundraiser and a backpack and food drive.
"We are ecstatic to be taking the fund-raiser to a whole new level this year," Golden said. "All we need is San Diego's support! The need is enormous, and it's a project anyone can get behind."
The restaurants signed on to participate include: Alchemy, Bencotto, Café Chloe, Casa de Bandini, Casa Guadalajara, Casa de Pico, Cosmopolitan Restaurant, Cowboy Star, Croce's, Cucina Urbana, Dining Details, Flippin' Pizza (all locations), Gaglione Brothers, George's at the Cove, JRDN, JSix, Kensington Grill, Lotsa Pasta, Nine-Ten, O'Brothers, Pizza Fusion, Playa Grill, Ritual Tavern, Roseville, Royal India, Sessions Public, Soleluna Café, SoNo Trading Company, Starlite, Stingaree, Terra, The Red Door, Urban Solace, Wine Steals (all locations) and Zenbu.
The monetary fund-raiser has been fueled by social media participation. People can contribute to the program at firstgiving.com/food4kids.
The backpack and food drive will take place at the Little Italy Mercato on Aug. 21 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Members of the community are asked to bring neutral backpacks and kid-friendly, nonperishable food (such as applesauce, cereal, fruit cups, mac & cheese, pretzels and other healthy foods).
Last year's fundraiser garnered more than $6,000 and 1,200 pounds of food. This year's event runs through the end of August.