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Eat out and feed the hungry
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Dine Out, Do Good Newton

What: 10 percent of the day’s gross sales go to local hunger relief programs

When: Nov. 5

Where: Amici's Italian Cafe, Blimpie Subs, Bradley's BBQ, Burrito Loco, Chick-fil-A (Newton Plaza), Firehouse Subs (PLEASE identify as Dine Out Diner), Henderson's, Jersey Mike's Subs (Covington & Loganville locations), Johnny's Pizza (PLEASE identify as Dine Out Diner), LongHorn Steakhouse, Mystic Grill, Plain Nuts, The Social House (Porterdale), Square Perk Cafe, Walden's Restaurant, Where There's Smoke BBQ (Mansfield), and Zaxby's (Turner Lake & Covington Bypass locations).

Breakfast, lunch or dinner -- it doesn't matter which.

Dine out at one of the 17 participating restaurants, or eat at the Church of the Good Shepherd’s spaghetti dinner on Thursday, Nov. 5, and Newton County’s hungry will benefit.

The restaurants will be donating 10 percent of the day’s gross profits to local hunger relief through Action Ministries in Covington. The agency will use the money for three hunger relief efforts—Smart Lunch, Smart Kid, Feed the Hungry boxes, and the newest program, BackPack Buddies.

According to Tamara Richardson, area director for Action Ministries, many children in the county face food insecurities and don't know where they will get their next meal. They may get free or reduced lunches during the school week, but on the weekends there is rarely much to eat.

BackPack Buddies helps fill in that gap.

Area school counselors will work in partnership with Action Ministries to provide meals that are easy for children to prepare and consume, including pop-top canned items like ravioli and breakfast bars. Teachers will identify the children in need and counselors will discreetly stock the children’s backpacks.

“I’m hoping that the proceeds from Dine Out Newton County will help start BackPack Buddies at one or two of the elementary schools,” Richardson said.

Dine Out Newton County will also provide items for the Feed the Hungry Boxes, $25 worth of nonperishable food items such as macaroni and cheese, rice, beans and canned goods. Each box feeds a family of four for a week. The boxes are distributed at Repairers of the Breach Thrift Store on Washington Street in Covington, and at Covington First United Methodist Church.

“The proceeds from this fundraiser will, perhaps, go for those efforts in order to get these boxes out in the community,” Richardson said.

The Smart Lunch, Smart Kid program, which launched this summer in Newton County, provides a meal to children during the summer, when free or reduced lunches at school are not available. Volunteers help pack the meals and serve them at locations like parks, community centers and churches throughout the county.

Those who decide to eat at Johnny’s Pizza or Firehouse Subs for the Dine Out event need to let the staff know at the time the order is placed that the meal should be included in the Dine Out Newton County fundraiser, Richardson said. That’s not necessary for any of the other restaurants participating in Dine Out.

In addition to Firehouse Subs and Johnny’s Pizza, Amici Italian Café, Blimpie Subs, Bradley’s BBQ, Burrito Loco Bar and Grill, Chick-fil-A at Newton Plaza, Henderson’s, Jersey Mike’s Subs in Covington and Loganville, Longhorn Steakhouse, Mystic Grill, Plain Nuts Catering & Deli, The Social House in Porterdale, Square Perk Café, Walden’s, Where There’s Smoke BBQ in Mansfield and Zaxby’s at the Covington Bypass and Turner Lake Road stores will be participating.

The Church of the Good Shepherd Episcopal Church will host a spaghetti dinner that evening from 5:30-7 p.m.

“I was really pleased we got the 18 participants,” Richardson said.

By eating at one of the restaurants that day, people will be feeding the hungry in the community, she said. “The more people we have eating out at the 18 restaurants, the more hunger will benefit.”