Inlander Restaurant Week has partnered to support Second Harvest since 2015.
Good job, diners! You all helped generate more than 54,300 meal donations to Second Harvest
food bank thanks to participation in Inlander Restaurant Week's
sixth annual, 10-day culinary celebration, which ended this past weekend on March 3.
That number breaks all previous records and is thanks to donations from participating restaurants, diners and event sponsors Sysco
and Dairy Farmers of Washington
. This Thursday, more than 17,000 of those meals were distributed by Sysco to Second Harvest.
While Inlander Restaurant Week encourages the community to support local restaurants across the region with a visit during this typically slower time of the year, it's also a time to consider the many members of our community who can't afford to dine out during IRW, or even to put enough food on the table for themselves and their family — one in eight people in our region don't know where their next meal is coming from.
Here's how the donations generated by this year's event break down:
• The #IRWRaveReviews hashtag on social media (Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) generated more than 5,400 meals
. Each time diners shared a post using that tag, Sysco donated five meals to Second Harvest.
• Sysco also pledged to make a matching donation for each restaurant that attended an event kickoff, and matched their restaurant clients' orders with donations, totaling 11,502 meals
• This year's First Bite benefit and preview of Restaurant Week also helped, prompting the donation of more than 23,000 meals
for Second Harvest — more than double the first year's event in 2017.
• Finally, the Everyone Eats campaign that 17 participating restaurants opted in to, giving diners the chance to make a tip line donation on their check, has so far brought in more than 14,000 meals
and counting. Some Restaurant Week participants also chose to make separate monetary or direct donations to the nonprofit.
“Second Harvest is very grateful to be the charitable beneficiary of Inlander Restaurant Week. It’s a natural partnership since Restaurant Week is all about food and enjoying great meals, and Second Harvest is all about providing healthy food to people in need," says Julie Humphreys, Second Harvest's community relations manager.