Eat out and help the food bank

StreetSmart encourages diners to add $1 to their restaurant bill with proceeds going to two Victoria food banks

A charitable movement that’s raised more than $12 million for food banks worldwide is planting roots in Greater Victoria.

StreetSmart is a simple concept: for the next two months, participating restaurants ask patrons if they’re interested in donating $1 to a local food bank. At the end of the campaign, the charities that serve the community’s most needy get a big financial boost when they need it most.

“Thanks to generous local donors, 100 per cent of the proceeds will go to local charities,” said Karen Clarke, StreetSmart Victoria organizer.

There are already nine restaurants onboard locally including Sooke Harbour House, 10 Acres, Ça Va, Cafe Brio, Milestone’s, Pescatores, Cheryl’s Gourmet Pantry, Relish and The Marina Restaurant in Oak Bay.

Clarke and her team are still hoping to sign up more restaurants as the campaign moves forward.

“Victoria is a perfect place to do this, because we have so many wonderful restaurants,” she said.

The Mustard Seed and Sooke food banks will receive every penny of collected donations, while administrative and marketing costs for StreetSmart have been covered by philanthropists in the community, she said.

“Simply add a dollar to the end of your bill. It doesn’t affect server gratuities and it doesn’t cost the restaurant anything. The feedback we’ve had from Vancouver is the restaurants loved being a part of it, the servers feel they’re contributing to the community and the local connection is a big factor for a lot of people.”

In the U.K., StreetSmart has raised over $12 million since its inception in 1998, and has since spread to five other countries. The Canadian branch is also running campaigns in Vancouver, Chilliwack, Toronto and Kingston.

To participate, email Clarke at karenclarke@streetsmartcanada.org.

 

For an up-to-date list of participating restaurants, visit streetsmartcanada.org.