Restaurants, Customers Take Donations for Food Bank One Step Further

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The  good folks at Community FoodBank of New Jersey’s Southern Branch have put together a new fundraiser that’s proving successful.

At 50 different restaurants throughout Atlantic and Cape May counties, the wait staff were asked to ask customers to donate $5 at the end of their meal to go towards feeding food-insecure families.

“When they came up with this idea of Feed a Family, we were like, it’s easy,” said Maureen Shay, owner of Dock's Oyster House in Atlantic City. “It’s a simple thing for us to do, it’s a simple thing for our customers to do, and it has such a huge benefit to the community at large.”

Fifty local restauranteurs stepped up to the plate to help bring more meals to hungry families, by asking their customers to tack on an extra $5.

It’s a simple thing for us to do, it’s a simple thing for our customers to do, and it has such a huge benefit to the community at large.

“It’s important for people to know that every $5 they add provides 15 meals for our hungry neighbors,” said Richard Uniake, vice president of the Community FoodBank of New Jersey’s Southern Branch.

“We’re in the area, and we do well, so it’s nice to give back to the area, especially to the people that are in real need,” said Kevin Cronin, executive chef at Atlantic City's The Iron Room.

A few of the restaurants had such a great response, that the owners' decided to continue the special for another week, to bring in as many donations as possible that will turn into meals for local residents.

“It seemed like it was too short a period of time that we could do more,” said Shay. “And we got our staff all behind it, and we decided let’s do it one more week.”

The owner of Dock's Oyster House says asking their customers to help the Community FoodBank of New Jersey’s Southern Branch was a piece of cake.

“Anytime you have a business in a city like Atlantic City, that you’ve been lucky to be successful, you’re so grateful to the community at large for supporting you, and you want to give back,” said Shay.

The folks over at The Iron Room decided to not only extend the donations for another week but take it one step further.

“We’re matching it dollar for dollar, so whatever you spend in here for a donation, we match for that to be sent back at,” said Cronin.

“We knew this was kind of a lot to ask, maybe for them to do this at this time of the year, even though it’s their guests who are doing the donating, by in large, for them to say ‘Hey, we’d like to keep this going.’ I was floored,” said Uniake.

Although the restaurants will soon wrap up the donations, the chefs SNJ Today spoke with say they look forward to doing this again.

“Giving back, it feels so good,” said Stephan Johnson, executive chef at Dock's Oyster House. “And we’re looking forward to doing more with the FoodBank.”

To see a list of participating restaurants, head over to

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