When Fred and Stacy Navarro opened Lynnhurst's George & the Dragon last summer, they wanted to make giving back to the community a central part of their business.
Now, the restaurant is building on eight successful months of serving the community with ambitious plans to literally double the number of people it feeds in January. For every meal a customer eats within its walls during January, the Navarros will make a donation equivalent to one meal to local food bank and hunger-fighting nonprofit Second Harvest Heartland.
Two weeks into the campaign, Fred Navarro told Patch, nearly 3,000 meals have been donated. They're aiming to donate between 6,000 and 8,000 in total. To do so, they've teamed up with Eatiply, a brand-new local organization trying to leverage local diners to fight hunger. Diners can search for restaurants taking part on Eatiply's website, potentially bringing new customers to restaurants taking a stab at world hunger. With participating restaurants changing semi-regularly, it also offers socially-conscious foodies a way to explore different restaurants each month.
So far, four restaurants are participating, with three more scheduled to take part in February.
"Before we opened, my wife and I worked for a larger restaurant group, where one of the biggest things was to make as much money as you can," Navarro said. "George was about being a neighborhood place, about doing what we can for our communities."
"We thought Eatiply was a pretty brilliant program," he added, saying he and Stacy hoped to spread the word about Eatiply among their customer.
It's month-long partnership with Eatiply isn't the first time the Navarros have taken a swipe at hunger. To take advantage of their Wednesday half-price wine night, for example, you have to bring a food shelf donation.
When customers hear about the Eatiply partnership, Navarro said, they've been "very happy" and "excited."