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National Restaurant Association - Restaurants gave nearly $3B to charity in 2010

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Restaurants gave nearly $3B to charity in 2010

The restaurant industry donated nearly $3 billion to charitable efforts last year, according to the latest America Works Here advertisement issued by the National Restaurant Association.

The ad, which was produced as part of the NRA's ongoing campaign to tell the story of America's restaurants, highlights the industry's commitment to local communities through charitable giving.

"America's restaurants serve more than great food, they respond in times of need and nourish communities nationwide, said Scott DeFife, the association's executive vice president of policy and government affairs. "When you support a restaurant, you support your community and your neighbors."

NRA research determined that 94 percent of restaurant operators in the United States made charitable contributions last year and that 92 percent supported local organizations and charities. In addition, 73 percent of restaurateurs made donations on behalf of hunger relief and 70 percent made cash donations to those in need.

"Restaurants recognize what an integral part of their communities they are and, as such, want to help support their neighbors in every capacity," said Alyssa Prince, the NRA's senior director of community affairs. "From being the place where customers go for celebrations to the place people turn to when seeking support for causes and issues affecting their neighborhoods, restaurants have their roots in the communities where they do business."

The NRA honors the industry's charitable giving with its annual Restaurant Neighbor award and celebrates restaurateurs' focus on multiculturalism with its Faces of Diversity award. Each year, the awards are bestowed to a slate of winners at a gala event during the association's Public Affairs conference in April. Nominations for this year's winners will be accepted until Dec. 20. For more information on how to apply, contact community affairs' Prince at aprince@restaurant.org or go to www.restaurant.org/awards.

Furthermore, the association also has supported numerous charitable efforts within the restaurant industry, including sponsorship of Share Our Strength's Dineout For No Kid Hungry promotion, which raises funds to fight childhood hunger through promotions and special events, and Freedom Is Sweet, an initiative that supports military veterans and their families through restaurant fundraisers and consumer-driven campaigns.

To learn more about America Works Here, an effort to educate policymakers as to the scope and influence the restaurant industry has on the American economy, visit www.restaurant.org/AmericaWorksHere.

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