MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. - A new non-profit in Mountain View aims to help both hungry families and struggling restaurants at the same time. It's called Appetite for Good.
Idarose Sylvester, chair of the town's human relations commission, launched the program this month.
"I realized that we had two very distinct, very large problems, but we could marry those problems with a single solution," said Sylvester.
The solution: a meal voucher program called Appetite for Good.
Through it, anyone can buy a restaurant meal, to be given to a needy family.
Mountain View's Community Services Agency will distribute the vouchers.
"So the idea of buying a meal from a restaurant and then giving that meal, gifting that meal if you will, to a family in need is a fantastic one. I was blown away. And it seems so basic. I was like why haven't we thought of this before?" said Tom Myers, executive director of the Community Services Agency.
And the program has taken off. They went from selling 48 vouchers in 48 hours when they started to selling 50 vouchers in just one hour by Thursday.
"The response has been phenomenal. We have people going in and buying 20 meals in some cases, which it just warms my heart," said Sylvester.
There are four participating restaurants so far:
Ristorante Don Giovanni, Los Portales, Ephesus and Olympus Cafe & Bakery. But that list is growing.
"I find this the best way to be part of the community, by doing this to help the public. Also I get help for the business too," says Galip Vural, owner of Olympus Cafe and Ephesus.
"It will work perfectly for everybody. At this time, everybody needs a little bit of help," says Roxana Carmona of Ristorante Don Giovanni.
Appetite for Good has sold about 250 meal vouchers so far.
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