From today – November 21 – select food eateries around Port Macquarie will be asking customers to add a dollar onto their bills to help homeless people in the Hastings.
It is hoped the campaign will raise awareness for homelessness and give diners a practical option to help.
Eateries that have signed on include The Stunned Mullet, Burger Rebellion, Drury Lane, Botanic Wine Garden, Bandwagon, Bill’s Fishouse and Port City Bowling Club.
Drury Woolnough owner of Drury Lane said it was a wonderful project to be associated with.
“I think it is a fantastic idea and it is simple. It is being run by the community with a community focus and it is super easy to take part in,” Mr Woolnough said.
“It is a great program and when you go out for lunch or dinner adding an extra dollar on the bill is a no brainer. A dollar can't buy much these days, but if you donate it to the program all the single dollars can quickly add up and do a lot of good.”
A dollar can't buy much these days, but if you donate it to the program all the single dollars can quickly add up and do a lot of good.Drury Woolnough
Tash Olynick from Bandwagon said she hoped her customers would be quick to jump on board.
“Hopefully it raises awareness and makes people think a bit more about those who are doing it hard at the moment,” Ms Olynick said.
While the campaign is new in Port Macquarie, the DineSmart program has been run all over Australia with excellent results.
All money raised through the program will stay in the local community and is allocated to grassroots organisations who provide vital frontline services aimed at tackling homelessness.
Chris Harris from Bills Fishhouse said the idea of local businesses and their customers helping those who are struggling is great.
“We have a lot of locals come in and support our business and so it only makes sense that we can offer this program,” Mr Harris said.
“We have lots of groups come in for a long meal so it will be great that we can have a chat to them about the program at dinner so they understand why we think it is important. I will be asking groups to donate a dollar per person because at the end of the day even five or six dollars is not a lot.”
I will be asking groups to donate a dollar per person because at the end of the day even five or six dollars is not a lot.Chris Harris
Lou Perri from The Stunned Mullet said he saw the program as a way of giving back to the community.
“It is such a worthwhile project and a chance for people to give back to the community in which they live to are coming to,” Mr Perri said.
“From a business point of view I think successful businesses should help the community they operate in.”
Eline Wante from the Botanic Wine Garden said adding an extra dollar on a bill for the benefit of others can only be a good thing.
“This program allows us to do exactly what we love – providing great food and helping the community,” Ms Wante said.
“We have a collaboration with the Soup Kitchen and know first hand how much services like that are needed so for us to help was an easy decision.”
Matt Longway from Burger Rebellion also said his eatery were happy to sign up to the program.
“Simply for us it was a case of it was a good cause and we wanted to help,” Mr Longway said.
“We are ready to go and there is a lot of information in the shop to tell people what is going on so hopefully it will work well.”
The program begins in Port Macquarie on November 21 and will run until December 31.
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