Feeding San Diego, a hunger relief and food rescue organization, has added a “Gift a Meal” initiative to its Spread Love San Diego campaign.

Using its MealConnect app, the campaign supports local restaurants and provides meals to those facing hunger. Hundreds of thousands of people across San Diego County are facing hunger, many for the first time.

Feeding San Diego’s work has always been closely intertwined with the local food community, whether it’s working with celebrity chefs to spread the word of its mission or partnering with restaurants and caterers to rescue food that would otherwise go to waste.

This new initiative helps to bolster sales at local restaurants and provide an easy way to give back to the local community. Feeding San Diego invites restaurants across San Diego County to sign-up and participate.

The concept was developed in partnership with Girl Scout Troop #4978 as an idea for its Bronze Award.

Lily Piehl, age 10, had the idea to do something to help drive business for restaurants while helping to feed people facing hunger. Her parents, Chef Fred and Tammy Piehl, own two restaurants, The Smoking Goat and One Door North, in North Park and know first-hand the devasting impact of COVID closures.

“My parents own restaurants in San Diego, and I know that most local restaurant owners and their employees need help right now. Asking our community to order meals from restaurants and then giving them to people who are hungry seems like a great way for everyone to help each other,” Lily Piehl said. “I am proud that Feeding San Diego agrees, and I am grateful for their hard work to make this idea happen. Our troop is very excited to help communicate this idea to local restaurants and community members.”

Guests at participating restaurants now have the option to add a $15 meal for a person facing hunger to their order. Once a restaurant has a minimum of five donated meals, they prepare the meals, alert Feeding San Diego via the MealConnect app, and Feeding San Diego will send a trained MealConnect volunteer driver or community partner to pick-up the meals, and get them to people in need.

The restaurants that have signed up at the time of launch include:  Carte Blanche Bistro & Bar, George’s at the Cove, One Door North, Social Tap American Eatery, Terra American Bistro, The Little Lion Cafe, and The Smoking Goat. Collectively, they have already sold more than 100 meals for people facing hunger. Feeding San Diego invites restaurants across San Diego County to sign-up.

For more information or to register as a participating restaurant, visit https://feedingsandiego.org/spreadlovesandiego/giftameal.

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