Local restaurants share strength to feed children
Published: Thursday, September 12, 2013
Updated: Thursday, September 12, 2013 23:09
Local neighborhood restaurants in Butler and Warren counties are coming together to support “Share our Strength: No Kid Hungry,” a non-profit organization that raises awareness to end hunger. The seven restaurants participating include First Watch Café, Breugger’s Bagels, Mimi’s Café, Brazenhead Irish Pub, Cici’s Pizza, and Orange Leaf. While all the restaurants collectively promote childhood hunger, each business is raising awareness in its own way.
First Watch Café, a restaurant specializing in healthy meals with 16 establishments in Ohio alone, as noted on firstwatch.com, is selling its homemade granola on the market for the first time. Profits of 50 cents for each granola sale, in addition to 25 cents off kids’ meals eaten will be donated to No Kid Hungry.
Chris Tomasso, chief marketing officer of First Watch Café, said this is in addition to the pledged contribution of $50,000 to the organization.
“There is a powerful message here and one that we cannot ignore,” Tomasso said. “Childhood hunger has to end, and this is just one way First Watch is trying to help.”
Breugger’s Bagels, a café also with nationwide locations, is looking to accomplish this by selling $5 coupon books for a third year, as stated by Warren County manager Robyn Huddach. While this is only offered in September, each book contains several free or discounted items on bagel and coffee specials for the rest of the year. Most importantly, all of the sales’ proceeds will go directly to No Kid Hunger.
“It’s amazing how so many people will buy one [coupon book], turn around and convince whoever is behind them to do the same,” Huddach said. “Our corporate office will give us thousands of books, but we had to order more of them last year: this was such a success. Our goal is to raise $150,000 for No Kid Hunger this September.”
As much as the company supports the non-profit organization, Breuggers does not lose any money in the process. Rather, appreciative guests often buy other items when paying with the coupon book, and Breugger’s benefits from the additional purchases.
Mimi’s Café in Warren County has also gone the whole nine yards. Simply walking into the restaurant results in “Merci from Mimi’s” lottery tickets. Assistant manager Amanda Branham said these are a way to thank customers for the business, and further convince them to make a donation to the campaign. Placards, orange streamers and information cards on the table encourage guests to make a donation to the campaign.
Assistant manager Amanda Branham said she believes these advertisings will result in moral and personal satisfaction on behalf of her guests.
“The only charity we sponsor is No Kid Hunger, so we put a lot of effort into it,” Branham said. “Whether or not the contributor has dined with us, a $10 donation will still provide 50 nutritional meals to a starving child. They are near and dear to our hearts, and our great country’s future. We hope to make it a bright one.”
While many of the participating restaurants market No Kid Hunger with their own food, Bruce Worth, general manager of Brazenhead Irish Pub, is organizing a 5K run for the cause on September 22.
With posters in the vicinity, an advertisement on their website and announcements on six different local radio stations, Worth said he hopes to make a generous donation to the cause.
“While I may or may not see an increase in my business because of the run, that’s not what’s important here,” Worth said. “I’ve always had a special place in my heart for the hungry. And because we all love kids, I do feel as if this will make a great difference in the community.”
Miami students without transportation to these restaurants are able to make a contribution at the Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt on High Street in Oxford. With the purchase of an orange souvenir cup for a dollar, 75 cents will go to the No Kid Hungry campaign.
Miami University junior Amanda Dych, who is from the Mason area, said she wholeheartedly supports the idea.
“I think it’s so selfless of these businesses to do what they’re doing for these people,” Dych said. “Knowing a part of my bill is going to charity, I’ll definitely be making a stop to Orange Leaf in the near future.”