Dine out to Help Out The meal that feeds twice

Dine out to Help Out The meal that feeds twice

Restaurants in Victoria, the top fund raising state for 'Dine Out to Help Out' last year, aim to beat their total of $128,000 in this year's event from 9th November to the 24th December.

'Dine Out to Help Out' sees restaurants add a $2 voluntary donation to every table's bill. Every single dollar collected is then donated directly to support homeless refuges and charities selected based on their need and proximity to participating restaurants. The funds provide vital support to the 21,000 people* in Victoria without a home.

In its sixth year, the campaign's winning formula makes it easy for anyone to get involved and raise vital money for grassroots charities supporting homelessness. Restaurants involved in this year's campaign include Il Solito Posto, Cutler and Co, Oyster Little Bourke, Verge, Gingerboy and Longrain in Melbourne; and regional restaurants GPO in Bendigo and Sticks and Grace in Geelong.

StreetSmart patron Tim Costello encourages diners to make the most of Christmas celebrations and support their neighbourhood charities in the process:"The beauty of this campaign is that anyone can be a part of it and make a valuable contribution. Why not book a table at a participating restaurant with your group of friends? Or organise your annual work Christmas party at a StreetSmart restaurant? Some of the nation's best and most loved restaurants participate in 'Dine Out to Help Out'. It's an immensely enjoyable way to help those people who, at this time of year, can find life on the streets tougher than ever".

A complete list can be viewed at http://www.streetsmartaustralia.org/findrestaurant. Donations can be made at any time on the StreetSmart website http://www.streetsmartaustralia.org/getinvolved.

StreetSmart last year generated $260,000 nationally with a grand total of $830,000 since commencing in 2003. Adam Robinson, StreetSmart Australia CEO, says the organisation is aiming to surpass the $1,000,000 mark with this year's campaign, and attributes the success to the simplicity of the concept:

"The amount generated every year is remarkable, given that the campaign only runs for six weeks. It's easy for both the diner and the restaurant. We've found that diners are proud to be part of the grassroots movement, adding $2 onto a meal they have already enjoyed and helping to feed the homeless on their doorstep".

With the proceeds of the 2008 initiative, StreetSmart funded 63 grassroots projects that are delivering emergency aid as well as longer term programs helping to move people out of homelessness. 100% of funds raised through participating restaurants go to homeless organisations. Uniquely, all administrative costs to run StreetSmart are covered through sponsorship and volunteer efforts.

Grants support a diverse range of projects and services including food, shelter, and funding for projects which assists disadvantaged people to reconnect with their community and tackle longer term issues.

StreetSmart Australia was formed in 2003 to support and strengthen smaller, grassroots community organisations that help the homeless. These smaller organisations are critical in helping people in crisis. StreetSmart helps out by raising funds and delivering financial grants, raising community awareness of the issues of homelessness and assisting these organisations to connect across their communities. To date StreetSmart has raised and distributed $830,000.