Restaurant Roundup Update
Vermont Interfaith Action
Restaurant Roundup is a project of Vermont Interfaith Action that addresses food insecurity through rounding checks at restaurants. Since the last report just over a year ago, Restaurant Roundup (RRU) has made some important strides:
• Leunig’s continues to fund Meals on Wheels.
• We have strengthened our relationship with the Chittenden County Hunger Council through regular attendance at meetings and bringing members into RRU to develop program guidelines and a list of acceptable donation recipients. City Market continues to give RRU strong support.
• The local law firm of Dunkiel Saunders has provided pro bono support in conducting a trademark search. The trademark will be the legal property of Vermont Interfaith Action, who in turn will license the eventual program manager: the program manager will be an independent entity or part of an existing organization addressing food security issues. The trademark will go into effect when our first contractual restaurants, The Spot and The Spot on the Dock, begin using the trademarked materials
• We are working on finding a program manager. Our objective is to find a way to run a program without creating an intermediary between the restaurants and non-profits; instead, we want to establish a direct transfer of money from the restaurant to the non-profit. We estimate one-quarter of a full-time job will be able to gather the data, report the results, and spot-check the validity of the reports. The Hunger Council is the pathway to finding the program manager.
• The marketing materials have been designed and printed. This effort has been funded by a generous donor to VIA. In general, whether it be Hunger Council members or people in general, RRU has proven to be a popular concept.
• The Spot Restaurant will become the first contractual restaurant to implement RRU with the full promotional package of marketing materials. Approximately seven more restaurants are in the discussion phase, including the Farmhouse Group
• We have developed simple agreements for the restaurants and recipients that have a yearly term and specify such things as frequency of reporting, donations by organization reporting, etc. On the assumption that there is the possibility of abuse in the program, spot checking will confirm that the donations are going where designated initially.
• We are confident that we shall get to the point of holding an Action to celebrate all the assistance we have gotten in creating this unique program. We are hoping for a fall event.
• When we are ready to roll out the program, VIA congregations will be asked to market the program to restaurants in their communities. This puts a significant number of “boots on the ground“ to expand the program.