Eat. Give. Live.

I have never encountered a more giving community than the restaurants and foodservice businesses in the Metropolitan Washington, D.C. region. This region’s restaurant community members serve more than just food and drink — they are anchors of their communities. Owners, operators, chefs, and staff dedicate countless volunteer hours and services every year to charitable causes of all sorts and sizes — locally and nationally. Whether it’s through active civic engagement or philanthropic efforts, restaurants throughout the region support charitable organizations through donations, event participation, youth mentoring, and more.
Just last month, Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington (RAMW) members, and the larger foodservice community, came together swiftly and with impressive success to raise funds for hurricane relief efforts in Texas and Florida. Leaders in our community – like José Andrés of ThinkFoodGroup, Andy Shallal of Busboys and Poets, Michael Babin of Neighborhood Restaurant Group, and 70 other operators – came together to promote “DC Dines Out for Houston” in support of their restaurant industry colleagues who continue to deal with the aftermath of those devastating storms.
Also in September, DC Brau Brewing Company, Boundary Stone Public House, New Columbia Distillers, and DC Reynolds joined forces to host a day of giving to support Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. The collaboration included over 100 restaurants, breweries, and distilleries and raised more than $55,000 dollars — far beyond the goal they set of $25,000. At Black Restaurant Group, Jeff and Barbara Black matched donations from diners up to $100,000 in support of Harvey relief efforts through their Black Family Foundation.
Our members, and the larger community here, are givers. There are so many more charitable efforts to speak of, but these are just a few examples of how this industry steps up to support… time and time again. Many restaurants have established their own foundations, groups, or fundraising events in support of various causes such as cancer research, human rights, animal welfare, leadership, and education. They are the stars of fundraisers for other organizations as well, like Human Right’s Campaign’s Chefs For Equality, the Capital Area Food Bank’s Blue Jeans Ball, the National Cherry Blossom Festival’s Pink Tie Party, and so many more events.
Here at RAMW, we promote restaurant industry careers through our non-profit foundation Educated Eats. With the goal of creating a qualified workforce to meet job placement needs across the region, the Educated Eats foundation provides scholarships to high school students and individuals working in the restaurant industry or who are interested in pursuing education in a food service or culinary profession. On November 14, we will host our annual Educated Eats Benefit Party and Auction. We are seeking donations of unique auction items, and we invite you, the foodservice trade, to join us for this great event. Email to receive more information.

ASSOCIATION NEWS – RAMW | Kathy E. Hollinger
KATHY HOLLINGER is the president of the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington

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