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National Restaurant Association - Anti-hunger group taps Sweeney as No Kid Hungry Hero

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Anti-hunger group taps Sweeney as No Kid Hungry Hero

The National Restaurant Association’s Dawn Sweeney recently was named a “No Kid Hungry Hero” by anti-hunger nonprofit Share Our Strength in Washington, D.C.

Sweeney, the NRA’s president and CEO, was honored June 4 for her efforts to end childhood hunger.

“I am humbled to accept this recognition on behalf of the restaurant industry,” she said. “Restaurateurs are natural philanthropists who reach out to help those experiencing hard times by rallying their employees and customers in causes like the Dine Out for No Kid Hungry campaign. The National Restaurant Association and our members are proud to be a Share Our Strength partner fighting childhood hunger.”

Sweeney added that in the past year alone, the restaurant industry gave nearly $3 billion in resources, including food and funds, to assist the myriad communities they serve.

SOS co-founder Debbie Shore recalled Sweeney’s enthusiasm and willingness to help when the group first approached the Association to assist in its mission to end childhood hunger.

“Restaurants have always been the backbone at Share Our Strength,” she said. “In fact, they’ve raised over $100 million to fight hunger. When we launched the Dine Out in 2008, the first person we went to was Dawn Sweeney at the National Restaurant Association. Her response was, ‘Absolutely, yes, we want to get on board as a national partner.’”

Shore noted that since that first meeting, Sweeney has actively promoted the campaign to National Restaurant Association members and state partners, calling her personal outreach to the industry “powerful.”

According to SOS president Tom Nelson, approximately 8,200 restaurants participated in Dine Out for No Kid Hungry last year, raising nearly $6 million during the month-long campaign that asks restaurant customers to dine out and help in the fight to end hunger.

"Thanks to the hard work and leadership of people like Dawn, the No Kid Hungry campaign has been able to connect kids in need to millions of meals,” he said.

Pictured top right, from left: SOS founders Bill and Debbie Shore, NRA chief executive Dawn Sweeney, and SOS president Tom Nelson

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