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Want Not: Fighting Hunger Is A Constant For These Charities

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We dine out, we dine in, we write about our food and we comment on the musings of other adventurous eaters. It's fun--kinda like a sport only we don't have to wear helmets or worry about paternity suits.

Much.

But as much as the food world revolves around glitzy new restaurants, nasty critics and nitpicky bloggers, it's also damn good at looking out for those who would otherwise go hungry. Take Share Our Strength, for instance. This national organization is devoted ending childhood hunger, and its programs range from community bake sale initiatives to star-studded events in America's finest restaurants.

The group's A Tasteful Pursuit touring dinner series made a stop at Dallas' Stephan Pyles last Sunday, and local faves like David Uygur and Sara Johannes pitched in for the cause. From September 20-26, you can dine out at many local restaurants to support Share Our Strength during its Great American Dineout. (Visit www.strength.org for more information.)

Hunger Busters is also addressing the issue of childhood hunger right here in our own backyards. According to this local organization, Texas ranks in the top four states with the highest rate of "food insecure" children. Founded in 2000 by restaurateur Phil Romano and his wife Lillie, Hunger Busters also serves meals to the homeless, senior citizens and many other local folks. You can read more about its programs and how you can help at www.hungerbusters.com.

We also just wrapped up Restaurant Week, a blockbuster annual dining event that raises funds for the North Texas Food Bank and the Lena Pope Home in Fort Worth. As we head into the holidays, however, the NTFB will count on our continuing support.

The Cheesecake Factory in Stonebriar Centre is pitching in next Tuesday, September 8th. The first 500 guests to donate two cans of soup (beginning at 3 p.m.) will receive a slice of cheesecake in return. In addition, all outposts of the restaurant are hosting a second opportunity to feed the hungry on September 30th. Bring in two cans of soup that day and the Cheesecake Factory will donate 10 percent of your total check to area food banks.

An excellent excuse to order appetizers and dessert, if ever we heard one.

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